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WESNET Applauds the Labor Party’s commitment to women

WESNET MEDIA RELEASE

13 May 2004

WESNET The Womens Services Network is pleased to see the Labour Partys Plan to Combat Violence Against Women released today at Australian Parliament House.

This comes at a time when the Howard government for the first time in 20 years failed to release a womens budget statement at all.

“We applaud the Labour Partys clear commitment to women at a time when women are pleading for more to be done to protect women and children from the realities of domestic and family violence”, says Veronica Wensing former WESNET National Executive Officer.

“We are excited that the Labor Party has made a commitment to release the No Respect No Relationship anti violence campaign; which is aimed at early intervention and prevention. This will raise awareness of the issues and contribute to reducing the incidence of violence against women in our community” says Laura Klobucar ACT WESNET Representative.

“In committing to work with the community the Labor Party has made a pledge to fund a national peak advocacy group to advocate against all forms of violence against women. This is a group that has been silenced by the Howard government” says Pauline Woodbridge, Queensland representative for WESNET

“The policy platform makes further commitments to address law reform issues to protect women and children from family violence, consider reform in Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) services in consultation with the sector and to establish a National Commissioner for Children and Young People” says Ms Woodbridge.

“When you compare the Howard governments spending of $2,2 billion on topping up the Family Tax Benefit part A in the next six weeks to their spending of $66 million to address sexual assault and violence against women over the past six years, you can see that they have failed to take this issue seriously . We are encouraged by the Labor Partys willingness to tackle the issue of violence against women and to speak in Parliament and in the community about this issue” said Ms Wensing.

“It is clear that Labor has been listening to us” said Ms Wensing. “WESNET applauds Labors commitment to tackle the issues of violence against women”

We encourage women to examine the Labor Partys Plan to Combat Violence and the Labor Womens Budget Statement to inform their vote at election time.

WESNET is the peak body for more than 380 womens domestic and family violence services across Australia.

For further comments please contact:

Veronica Wensing 0408 380 085

Pauline Woodbridge 07 4721 2888

Laura Klobucar 0400 008 598

ABN 16 068 548 631