Douglas Shire among state’s highest for domestic violence


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Douglas Shire councillors will discuss the need to establish a facility to house those impacted by domestic violence. IMAGE: Supplied.

SECOND only to Mt Isa, the Douglas Shire has among Queensland’s highest rates of reported domestic and family violence, but has no crisis or transitional accommodation options to assist victims and their children.

And at tomorrow’s open session of Council, Councillors will be called on to support the establishment of a facility to house those impacted by domestic violence.

A functional brief titled “Domestic and Family Violence Refuge”, calls for the establishment of a supported accommodation refuge for women and their children escaping domestic and family violence in the Douglas Shire in partnership with relevant State agencies and local service providers.

“The Douglas Shire requires a facility to provide crisis and supported accommodation services to women and their children escaping domestic and family violence.

“The current practice of service organisations referring victims to refuges is Cairns or attempting to temporarily place victims in unsupported accommodation in motels, is inadequate and ineffectual.”

According to the data that will be presented at the Council meeting, Douglas Shire has a high proportion of populations vulnerable to barriers restricting access to existing support services: a high percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents; small, discreet ‘rural and remote’ population centres; a lack of affordable public transport, affordable housing, and specialist domestic violence services.

“Without appropriate, long-term accommodation and support most women trying to break the cycle will return to their abuser,” it says.

Council to vote on RV Strategy

Council will vote on a Douglas RV Strategy, which will serve the following purposes:

i. Improve/enhance the RV traveller's experience while visiting the Douglas region through the provision of facilities, services and ready access information;

ii. Maintain and increase RV visitation rates and periods of time spent within a region;

iii. Support local/regional economic growth by providing infrastructure and provisions to support RV travellers; and

iv. Manage and mitigate impact of RV travellers on local community and environment

Agenda for Council meeting on Tuesday June 20 at 10am at Council Chambers, Mossman

i. Surf life-saving service contract

ii. Application for permanent road closure over unnamed road reserve adjoining lot 1 on sp243347 Captain Cook Highway Wangetti (Turtle Cove Resort)

iii. Domestic violence refuge functional brief

iv. Utilisation of Teamsters Park project 2017

v. Douglas recreational vehicle strategy 2017- 2021

vi. Wet tropics management plan review submission

vii. Proposed planning scheme submissions audit

viii. 2017-2018 fees and charges-development assessment-sustainable communities

ix. Corporate sustainability strategy

x. CEO report March - May 2017
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