Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said Thursday she could "assure" that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection would "very, very seriously" consider whether Chris Brown should be let into the country in December during his world tour given his domestic-violence track record.
"I'm clearly not going to pre-empt a decision by the minister," the former assistant minister for immigration and border protection told reporters at a press conference in Melbourne on Thursday. "However, I can assure you what my strong recommendation would be:
"People need to understand if you’re going to commit domestic violence and then you want to travel around the world, there are going to be countries that say to you, you cannot come in because you’re not of the character that we expect in Australia."
"If you’re going to commit domestic violence...you cannot come in because you’re not of the character that we expect in Australia"
Campaigner GetUp recently launched a petition to give Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton that urges to deny Chris Brown entry to the country on grounds that he has breached Australia’s visa character test given he has a "substantial criminal record".
The 1958 Migration Act states that the immigration minister can cancel a visa if a person wanting to enter the country has a substantial criminal record.
"If we stand by and do nothing while he performs around the country [even if we don't have the faintest interest in Brown's career or pop music in general], the campaign message says. "We are implicitly sending the message that if you brutally beat a woman, in a short amount of time you will be forgiven, or even celebrated."
Posters promoting his tour in Melbourne have been altered with stickers pasted on that read "I beat women".
In 2009 the world came to learn Chris Brown had brutally attacked his partner and world-renowned musician Rihanna before the Grammy Awards.
Mr Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in June 2009 for punching and biting her, and strangling her until she nearly lost consciousness, the affidavit read.
The call to review Mr Brown's entry came as the Turnbull Government announced a $100 million package in the effort to prevent domestic violence against women, which has so far killed 63 women in 2015.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at a press conference Thursday that violence against women was Australia’s great shame. "It is a national disgrace," he said.
"We as leaders as a government must make it and we will make it a clear national objective of ours to ensure that Australia is more respecting of women, women are respected.
"Disrespecting women is unacceptable, it is unacceptable at every level, at home, at the work place, wherever."
The government drew attention to the fact Indigenous women were at even greater risk. "For Indigenous women the situation is even worse.
"They are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family violence," it said in a joint press release.
The government said it would dedicate $21 million of the total investment to provide services to Indigenous women and communities at risk of harm.
How the anti-domestic violence package will be divvied
Details of the government's joint media release: Immediate practical actions to keep women safe include:
- $12 million to trial with states the use of innovative technology to keep women safe (such as GPS trackers for perpetrators), with funding to be matched by states and territories.
- $5 million for safer technology, including working with telecommunications companies to distribute safe phones to women, and with the eSafety Commissioner to develop a resource package about online safety for women, including for women from CALD communities.
- $17 million to keep women safe in their homes by expanding successful initiatives like the Safer in the Home programme to install CCTV cameras and other safety equipment, and a grant to the Salvation Army to work with security experts to conduct risk assessments on victim’s homes, help change their locks and scan for bugs.
- $5 million to expand 1800RESPECT, the national telephone and online counselling and information service, to ensure more women can get support.
- $2 million increased funding for MensLine for tools and resources to support perpetrators not to reoffend.
- Up to $15 million to enable police in Qld to better respond to domestic violence in remote communities and for measures that reduce reoffending by Indigenous perpetrators.
- $3.6 million for the Cross Border Domestic Violence Intelligence Desk to share information on victims and perpetrators who move around the cross border region of WA, SA and the NT.
Immediate measures to improve support and services for women will include increased training for frontline staff and trials of integrated service models:
- $14 million to expand the DV-alert training programme to police, social workers, emergency department staff and community workers to better support women, and work with the College of General Practitioners to develop and deliver specialised training to GPs across the country.
- $15 million to establish specialised domestic violence units to provide access to coordinated legal, social work and cultural liaison services for women in a single location, and allow legal services to work with local hospitals, including for women from CALD communities and women living in regional/remote areas.
- $5 million for local women’s case workers, to coordinate support for women, including housing, safety and budgeting services.
- $1.4 million to extend the Community Engagement Police Officers in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern territory.
- Up to $1.1 million to help remote Indigenous communities prevent and better respond to the incidence of domestic violence through targeted support.
Have you been affected by domestic violence? Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
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