10-year domestic violence plan ‘isn’t working’, National’s Bridget McKenzie says

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The Albanese government has been slammed over its efforts to bolster the number of frontline domestic violence workers, with a Nationals senator saying its plan to tackle the issue of gender-based violence is “not working”.

Governments are facing renewed pressure to take further action to end domestic violence after 26 women were allegedly killed by men n the first 115 days of the year.

The Albanese government and all state and territory governments in October 2022 unveiled a national $2.3bn 10-point action plan to combat domestic violence.

That included more frontline workers to support victims of domestic violence.

Speaking onSky News Sunday Agenda program, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the federal government had failed to deliver a promised increase in frontline services.

“They are not on the ground, particularly in the regions where these violent acts are being perpetrated,” she said.

Last month, the Opposition revealed that not one of 200 new frontline community domestic violence workers announced in the October 2022 budget had been delivered before Labor’s self-imposed deadline of mid-2023.

A further 200 workers are expected to be rolled out by the end of June, with an additional 100 in 2024-25, bringing the total to 500.

“I think we’re all we’ve all had enough … we’ve had enough of the big money announcements,” Senator McKenzie added.

However, the Nationals Senate leader would not be drawn on whether the Coalition would throw its support behind a federal royal commission into domestic violence.

“I think that’s a discussion for the government to be having,” she said.

Earlier, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth would not comment on whether the government would support a royal commission, instead pointing to existing efforts in train, including the 10-year national plan.

“We just need to continue to have this sustained effort. We believe that is what will make the difference,” Ms Rishworth said.

She said many of these programs were “starting to roll out” and Australians would start to see the benefits soon, but some would not be seen for “some time”.

Asked if the problem of gender based violence should be declared a national emergency, Ms Rishworth did not but said it had been a “crisis” for some time.

“I have been dealing with this issue every day that I have been Minister for Social Services,” she said.

“We have seen far too high rates of domestic violence and this has been persistent for some time.”

The Social Services Minister will join Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Women Katy Gallagher at a rally outside Parliament House calling for changes to combat men’s violence.

Posting on social media on Saturday, Mr Albanese confirmed his attendance at the demonstration, part of the No More: National Rally Against Violence movement.

“Violence against women is an epidemic. We must do better,” Mr Albanese said in a post to Instagram.

“Governments need to do better and as a society, we need to do better.”

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