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Tuesday, 16 November 1993
Page: 2871

Senator PATTERSON (3.13 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

  That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Family Services (Senator Crowley), to a question without notice asked by Senator Childs this day, relating to the program, Stop Violence Against Women.

I was most interested in the minister's comments about what she believes this program can achieve by way of community education. The minister said that the program puts the message into the community that real men do not bash or rape women.   It is a pity that one of her Labor colleagues in the New South Wales parliament does not share her view. I find it somewhat ironic that, on the very day that Senator Crowley has chosen to tell the Senate about this particular program, a Labor state colleague has been reported as saying that `domestic violence hysteria' is equivalent to the witch-hunts of the 17th century or McCarthyism in the United States in the 1950s. He further stated that domestic violence offenders are `decent citizens' who should not be locked up.

  I hope Senator Crowley will address the issue that that raises and the issue that her colleague has raised in that regard and do something about practising at home what the government is preaching abroad. It should get its own house in order and address the issue of the sorts of attitudes that this New South Wales Labor member has expressed.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.