Opposition's family violence portfolio praised

WOMEN’S Health Grampians has applauded the state opposition’s creation of a new portfolio, which focuses solely on the prevention of family violence. 

WHG chief executive Patty Kinnersly said the new Prevention of Family Violence portfolio was a step in the right direction for the government.

“We have some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the state,” Ms Kinnersly said. 

“I think the change demonstrates that the Victorian Liberal Party understands the importance of women in the community.” 

Next year, the WHG will launch a Regional Action Plan to look at ways of changing the perception of women in society, especially in cities like Ballarat. 

“All of those little things that people do or say, like sexist jokes, actually enforce that women are less important than men,” Ms Kinnersly said.  “That’s one of the key messages  we are trying to get out.” 

During a cabinet reshuffle yesterday, Labor Leader Daniel Andrews awarded shadow minister for women and child services Danielle Green  the new job.

“The new role is an exciting opportunity to expand the traditional approach to family violence from that of a women’s issue or a policing concern and instead take a broader view,” an opposition spokesperson  said. 

But the state government said it did not need a name change to prove that it was proactive in the prevention of family violence and violence of women. 

A state government spokesperson said Minister of Community Services Mary Wooldridge would continue to focus on ways to eliminate family violence and violence against women under her portfolio. 

“She is a senior member of our team and has proven to be a highly effective and dedicated minister right across the community services sector,” a government spokesperson said.

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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