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23    Family and Community Services— Sexual and family violence—1800RESPECT

Senator Waters, also on behalf of Senators Lambie, Hinch, Kakoschke-Moore and Moore, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 365—That the Senate—

               (a)       recognises that sexual and family violence cause terrible trauma to women, men and children throughout Australia, destroying the lives of individuals, their families and communities;

               (b)       acknowledges the tragedy that, despite national campaigns, the rate of violence against women and children in particular continues to increase throughout Australia;

                (c)       recognises the extraordinary work of specialist trauma counsellors and other workers who provide crisis intervention and other vital support to those who live with and survive violence;

               (d)       notes that Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia provides a unique service, including specialist trauma counselling services, to 1800RESPECT and to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and is recognised internationally as providing the benchmark in provision of specialist sexual assault and family violence trauma counselling;

                (e)       notes that serious concerns have been raised about the new ‘triage’ model implemented by Medibank Health Solutions (MHS), which is a private, for-profit company delivering 1800RESPECT on behalf of the Federal Government; and

                (f)       calls on the Federal Government to directly fund Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia to deliver 1800RESPECT with sufficient and sustainable funding, so that it can employ sufficient specialist sexual assault and family violence trauma counsellors, and procure sufficient and appropriate accommodation and infrastructure to continue to provide this essential, lifesaving service.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.