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Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Page: 4362


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:53): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The government has made significant improvements to the 1800RESPECT service to ensure that those calling the service receive appropriate support. We have introduced a triage service which has seen the number of calls answered grow from 33 per cent prior to the service being reformed to currently over 90 per cent of calls being answered. This change has also seen the average call wait time reduced from 10.3 minutes to the current average of 51 seconds. Importantly, these changes have allowed Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia to focus on what they do best: provide specialist trauma counselling to those people who need it while other calls, including calls for general information, are responded to by trained counsellors who have a minimum three-year degree in a related field and two years of counselling experience.

Question agreed to.