Douglas Shire receives funding for domestic violence emergency accommodation


Karlie Brady


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The Douglas Shire will soon have a safe place for women and children escaping domestic violence to stay after receiving $760,400 in funding from the Federal Government to build emergency accommodation.

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the Consortium with Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service, Mossman Support Services, and Mossman Elders Justice Group in the Douglas Shire will receive funding for a duplex comprising two three‐bedroom self‐contained units in the Mossman area.

“This will not only ensure women and children have somewhere safe to sleep but will also provide access to specialist family and domestic violence services to help create real and lasting change in their lives,” Mr Entsch said.

“When women make the decision to leave it is vital that they have somewhere safe to go and this facility will assist those women and children as a result of our investment.”

Douglas Shire Council will look for suitable land for the facility before beginning construction using the Federal funding.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said this funding is welcomed and long overdue for our community.

“Council has been a strong advocate for this type of facility to help break the tragic cycle of domestic violence,” he said.

“By building a safe place for victims, we can help out those who are often left with no choice but to leave the region and take refuge in Cairns.

“I would like to thank the Federal Government and congratulate Council staff for successfully lobbying for this funding,” Mayor Kerr said.

The funding is a part of 700 new safe places for women and children escaping domestic violence to be built across the country under the Morrison Government’s $60 million Safe Places initiative for new and expanded emergency accommodation.

Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth said, tragically, family and domestic violence was a leading cause of homelessness for women and children.

“Importantly about half of these places will be remote and regional communities supporting those who have had limited safe housing options,” Assistant Minister Howarth said.

“The Government also favoured projects which provide longer-term, self‐contained emergency accommodation which will give women and their children increased stability.”

The $60 million Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program is part of the $78 million funding package which includes $18 million to continue the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes initiative.

This funding forms part of the $340 million Australian Government investment in the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 which is provided in addition to our $150 million COVID‐19 response package.

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