A Liberal and Nationals Government will extend the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor (FVRIM) to assess the implementation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Reforming Victoria’s system to prevent family violence and to support victim survivors is a long and complex task, far more than the simple box-ticking exercise that the Andrews Labor Government has treated it as.
Labor has not renewed funding for the monitor, which is only budgeted until December.
This is despite data showing an increase in family violence-related offences in Victoria over the past five years, with offences rising from 76,000 in 2018 to more than 90,000 in the 12 months to June this year.
In spite of the increase, fewer cases resulted in criminal charges being laid, and the number of family violence cases where no charges were laid was higher in 2021-22 than any time in the past five years.
Shadow Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Emma Kealy, said Victorians needed a comprehensive review of how effectively the 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission had been implemented.
“The FVRIM is best-placed to lead that, but it requires support from the state government – not funding cuts,” she said.
“Crime Statistics Agency data shows us that family violence is only increasing, but the government is continuing to fail Victorians with its inept system.
“The government’s own data shows the target average waiting time for public rental housing for clients with priority access for family violence reasons is 10.5 months, but last year clients were forced to wait an average of 16.1 months under Labor.
“Women and children in areas where there is simply no priority rental housing available are waiting far longer.”
Ms Kealy said people affected by family violence needed and deserved a system that created tangible and lasting reform, and it was clear Labor could not deliver.
“An elected Liberal and Nationals Government will restore annual funding for the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor to $5 million to ensure that Victorians aren’t let down by a failing system,” she said.
“We will stay engaged with the sector and the community – and work with the monitor – to identify how long the extension will be necessary, and we will never hesitate to continue supporting this vital work.
“Family violence reform should never be about ticking a box and moving on.
“This extension of the FVRIM and a review of the government’s reform will be a vital step in ensuring that everything possible has been done to implement the reforms laid out in the Royal Commission.”