Indigenous violence program query

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert in Margaret River.
Camera IconWA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert in Margaret River. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has vowed to find out what the Federal Government had planned when it scrapped funding for a Great Southern indigenous violence support program last month.

Ms Siewert said she was concerned by Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion’s move to end funding for the Safe and Resilient Families indigenous domestic violence support program from June 30.

She refuted Mr Scullion’s claim that alternative programs could provide a similar service.

“There’s a bit of a history now of grants being cut to organisations delivering important and necessary services without an adequate transition plan,” she said.

“There does not appear to be another organisation that is picking up the sorts of functions that (service provider) Southern Aboriginal Corporation carries out.”

Ms Siewert said she had heard there was “a significant lack of support services” for indigenous domestic violence survivors in the region.

Since 2009, through a $365,000-a-year Federal grant, SAC has provided the program to help domestic violence survivors and those in danger of home eviction in Albany and Katanning.

In announcing the program would be cut, Mr Scullion said it “has not achieved strong outcomes” and funding would be redirected to other services.

A spokesman for the Federal Government said SAC “was unable to deliver an effective intensive family case management service”.

Ms Siewert said she would follow up her inquiries following the May 18 Federal election.

“I have a number of questions needing better explanation about why funding was cut in the first place and what they will do about replacing those services,” she said.

When the cut was announced, SAC chief executive Asha Bhat said the program benefited up to 150 people.

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