Queensland’s domestic violence accommodation stretched to limit

Monday, 19 September 2016

  • Between 2015/16 around 9000 nights of motel accommodation were provided to 9000 women and 13,393 children fleeing domestic and family violence
  • 240 per cent increase in demand for crisis accommodation in last twelve months – at a cost of over $1 million
  • Shannon Fentiman caught unprepared for influx in demand following implementation of Not Now, Not Ever report.

Thousands of vulnerable Queenslanders suffering from domestic violence have been forced into unsustainable crisis motel accommodation, raising concerns the Palaszczuk Labor Government has been caught unprepared by an influx in domestic violence cases across the State.

Shadow Minister for Child Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Ros Bates said it was only after Parliamentary questioning by the Opposition that Minister Shannon Fentiman revealed 9000 nights of motel accommodation was being used to make up for a the massive shortfall in crisis accommodation.

“In the last twelve months, around 9000 nights of motel accommodation were provided to 9000 women and over 13,000 children fleeing domestic and family violence across the State,” Ms Bates said.

“That’s a massive 240 per cent increase in just twelve months and cost the State over $1 million – money which could have been spent on more sustainable, long term support services.

“It’s unacceptable to have vulnerable families languishing in motels if the proper support services aren’t in place to ensure victims aren’t forced back into violent homes.

“As the Minister responsible for implementing recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever Report, Shannon Fentiman should have been better prepared for an increased demand for crisis accommodation and support services.

“Given the huge public exposure of the insidious issue affecting Queensland communities from Coolangatta to Cooktown what did the Minister expect?

“In the last twelve months, we’ve also seen double the number of calls to DVConnect, with the service fielding more than 4000 calls a month and police are responding to increased call outs to domestic violence incidents.

“Across the State services are telling me they are being swamped by calls for help and a need for beds for escaping victims.

“It’s critical that victims of family and domestic violence feel they have somewhere to turn but it’s up to this Labor Government to ensure proper mechanisms are in place so they can receive the best possible support.”