The Palaszczuk Government will invest extra funds to help Queensland’s most vulnerable and to support and create opportunities for women and young people.
The Community Services budget for 2015-16 is $202 million, including $28.2 million for domestic and family violence, $10.6 million for Women’s Health and Sexual Assault Services and $20.1 million for young people.
Minister for Communities, Women and Youth Shannon Fentiman said the Government was committed to revitalising the community sector, which helps vulnerable Queenslanders, women and young people, as well as creating jobs.
“Our community groups are the backbone of the support we provide for our most vulnerable. We value their contribution and that’s why we’ve removed ‘no advocacy’ clauses associated with their funding,” Ms Fentiman said.
“The significant funding to tackle domestic and family violence highlights our determination to eliminate this insidious crime.
“We are also providing $12.2 million over four years for upgrades to our much-needed neighbourhood and multi-tenant service centres.
“These centres are in the frontline to deliver many vital community and family services, such as counselling, parenting programs, play and youth groups, free legal services, emergency relief funds and financial advice.”
This funding is in addition to $14 million in 2015-16 to support 121 Neighbourhood Centres around the state, some of which have lost vital Federal funds.
The 2015-16 budget provides funding for 341 community organisations, across the community, youth, women and child safety portfolios.
Budget highlights include:
• $28.2 million in 2015-16 for domestic and family violence prevention and support services, including measures to respond to the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report by the taskforce chaired by Dame Quentin Bryce
• $8 million towards a total of $19.9 million over four years to establish two new crisis shelters in Brisbane and Townsville to help women and their children fleeing violence
• $7.1 million invested from the child safety portfolio budget, with funding in line with recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, for services to address domestic and family violence
• $20.1 million for support services to assist young people to connect with positive family support, stable housing, jobs, education or training and to live a safe, healthy life
• $6.6 million over two years for the innovative Parenting Support for Queensland Families parenting program, which will give Queensland families free access to parenting support to build their skills and confidence
• $5.5 million for a financial resilience program to help Queenslanders deal with cost of living and other financial pressures, to be developed in 2105-16 and to commence in 2016-17
• $1.1 million funding for the Office for Women to support a range of leadership initiatives as well as better engagement with women and women’s networks across the state to address gender inequality
• development of a Queensland Women’s Strategy, with a focus on addressing gender inequality to be released during Queensland’s first Women’s Week in March 2016
• guaranteed recurrent funding of $1 million to support diverse cultural celebrations and events, along with $770,000 to implement Multicultural Recognition legislation and support the Multicultural Advisory Council to engage with Queenslanders and develop a Multicultural Charter
• $10.8 million over three years to expand the number of rest and recovery services in Drink Safe Precincts to reduce alcohol-related violence
• an extra $4 million to extend existing community support measures in drought declared areas to strengthen the resilience of drought-affected Queenslanders.