On 28 January 2015, the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, announced that addressing violence against women would be a COAG priority in 2015. The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of a new Advisory Panel on Violence against Women, with Ms Rosie Batty and former Victorian Chief Commissioner, Mr Ken Lay, as founding members.
As part of this announcement, the Prime Minister announced three priorities for the COAG agenda:
- A national Domestic Violence Order (DVO) scheme
- National standards for perpetrator interventions
- A national approach to dealing with online safety and the misuse of technology
On 4 March 2015, the Prime Minister announced that the Commonwealth Government will work with state and territory governments to deliver a national campaign focused on reducing violence against women and their children. The national awareness campaign is one of the initiatives the Commonwealth will work with state and territory governments on as part of the 2015 COAG agenda to reduce violence against women and children.
In other critical national announcements:
- On 23 March 2015, Commonwealth Minister for Social Services, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced $230 million to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) for two years to 2017, with funding priority given to frontline services focusing on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence and homeless youth or youth at risk of homelessness.
- On 26 March 2015, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, announced that the Commonwealth Government will contribute over $1.372 billion to the legal assistance sector over the next two years to 30 June 2017. This restoration of $25.5 million of funding for Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Indigenous legal service providers build on the Commonwealth Government’s significant commitment to address domestic violence, both in terms of front line services and policies that will lead to long term cultural change.
- On 2 April 2015 the Commonwealth Government announced $1 million was available to sporting codes to prevent violence against women and their children, in the form of grants which are now available through the Our Watch Sports Engagement Program which will grant four sporting organisations up to $250,000 to facilitate violence prevention activities in the sporting community. Grants to the successful codes will be provided for a three year period, and funded organisations will be expected to provide a substantial financial and/or in kind contribution to ensure the success of the initiative, which will also be considered as an indication and practical demonstration of their commitment to this work. Through this initiative, Our Watch will assist sporting codes to embed gender equality and respectful relationships into their networks and communities.