May 24, 2021

This morning a number of frontline domestic and family violence workers from the Hunter held the dresses of sorrow protest at the front of building. It was an incredibly powerful event highlighting the horror that is family and domestic violence. All the speakers this morning spoke in despair about how many women and children are currently in need of their support and assistance. Their temporary and crisis accommodation is at capacity and they said they see no end in sight. Of great concern is the significant influx in demand from women over the age of 70.

I want all those who travelled from my own Hunter region to know that I hear their voice. Domestic and family violence is a scourge on our society and it is getting worse in regions like mine. It is essential that the government takes enduring, sustainable action to protect the lives of women and children. They could start by investing in affordable and crisis housing to give vulnerable women and children a safe place to live.

I especially want to acknowledge and pay tribute to Nova for Women and Children, an organisation that works with some of the most vulnerable women and children in Shortland and in the neighbouring area of Newcastle, the Madam Deputy Speaker's electorate. I have seen firsthand the work they do and I take this opportunity to thank them here, in the national parliament, for their work. Let's hope that in a not too distant future my daughter and my son live in an Australia where there is no need for such work. We as law makers should all work relentlessly for this outcome.