Domestic Violence

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (16:50): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Human Services a question regarding domestic violence policy.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: As a White Ribbon Ambassador, I was privileged, along with many other members of parliament, to attend the coalition of domestic violence providers' vigil at Elder Park last evening. My question to the minister is: will she update the council about the development of the government's domestic violence policies?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (16:50): I thank the honourable member for his question. Yes, I noted that there were a number of members of this chamber who attended the domestic violence vigil last night which was organised by the Coalition of Women's Domestic Violence Services. I think I saw the honourable Leader of the Opposition there, our former colleague Gerry Kandelaars, the member for Port Adelaide, and a number of Liberal members, including the new Speaker and the Hon. Mr Dawkins, so I thank him for his attendance. It is very important that men are part of this conversation as we go forward for some 30 or more years. A lot of women, particularly women who have been running shelters, have been driving the reform in this space.

The Liberal Party announced a very comprehensive policy in the lead-up to the election that we are extremely proud of. We had a range of measures, including additional accommodation for crisis services; the extension of a range of safety hubs across the state, largely based on what the Women's Safety Services of South Australia have established at their own initiative at their offices in the inner west which applied across metropolitan South Australia; funding for the Women's Safety Services Crisis Hotline to operate 24 hours a day; a range of legal measures which are being driven by the Attorney-General, including the so-called Clare's Law which enables somebody to make investigations in relation to someone's violent history; more targeted rehabilitation for domestic violence perpetrators; data collection and communication improvements; and providing the Coalition of Women's Domestic Violence Services with peak body funding.

This policy was extremely well met. We, in government, have a very ambitious 100-day plan. One of the 30-day plan commitments, which needed us to get our skates on, was to have a round table of all the service providers which took place on 13 April. Those service providers were very appreciative that they were actually being asked to input into our policy and help shape it as it is going forward. We were very frank with them and said that there might be elements that might need to be modified, so they have helped to shape that.

Of course, we have also appointed an assistant minister, the new member for Elder, Carolyn Habib, as the Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence. Assistant minister Habib and I attended all day, the Attorney-General also attended, as did the Minister for Police, and those service providers have been very appreciative that they have been able to help shape our policy. As is going to be the wont of the Marshall Liberal government, we are in the practice of working with the sector to codesign services rather than have a top-down approach, which was certainly the approach of the former Labor government, and we will continue to implement these in consultation.

The information is being captured by the Office for Women, which will then be provided back to us for further work. We have also undertaken to have a range of regional consultations with service providers and other people in the community, because clearly each region has a different approach. For instance, on Kangaroo Island they have already managed to establish their own hubs. We certainly think that there are individual approaches, depending on what the needs are in that region. We are very optimistic about there being some significant changes in relation to the way that this policy goes forward. I look forward to everybody participating.