After the Abbott Government signed an agreement with states that will see about $12 million cut from community legal centres in 2017, it's unclear if the new anti domestic violence fund will make up for the shortfall.
Myles Morgan

28 Sep 2015 - 4:18 PM  UPDATED 29 Sep 2015 - 9:33 AM


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It comes as the Federal Government says it will spend more money on helping Indigenous and migrant communities tackle the issue of family violence.

Myles Morgan explains.

Myles Morgan: Community legal centres are one of the first places women can turn to if they're experiencing domestic violence.

Kara Cook, Women's Legal Service principal solicitor: Our service assists over 3,500 women each year but we know there's over 2,500 women trying to contact us each month that we cannot assist due to a lack of resources. 

As part of its new family violence strategy, the government says it will spend $15 million on creating specialised domestic violence units around the country.

They'll be set up in southwest Sydney, the Dubbo region, northeast Melbourne, the Mallee region, priority locations within Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Townsville, northeast Perth, the Kimberley, Elizabeth, northwest Tasmania, Alice Springs and Canberra.

Kara Cook: The need in Brisbane, the need Queensland-wide is enormous for these services, particularly for Indigenous women who are 36 times more likely to experience domestic violence and be hospitalised as a result. 

The idea is they'll help domestic violence sufferers with urgent needs.

George Brandis, Attorney-General: Financial counselling, crisis accomodation, legal advice and other needs and these need to be catered for in a holistic way. 

It's unclear how this money will help and where it's going. Earlier this year, the Abbott Government signed an agreement with the states which will see about $12 million cut from community legal centres in 2017. Will this money make up for the shortfall?

Kara Cook: For us, we don't know what that means. For our services and other specialist women's legal services, there hasn't been a specific committment so we're waiting to see what happens.

In one of the most tragic recent cases of domestic violence, 11-year-old Luke Batty was killed by his father Greg Anderson last year.

The Victorian Coroner has handed down his findings into the death.

Ian Gray - Victoria Coroner: Lukes death was not reasonably forseeable by any entity or person including Ms Batty. No one person or agency could have reasonably been expected to foresee that Mr Anderson would be that rare perpetrator and Luke that rare victim of a violent filicide. 

But the coroner says the inquest identified gaps and delays in Victoria's family violence system.

Luke's mother, 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, has been raising awareness about domestic violence since her son's death.

Rosie Batty: The biggest change we need to see is how we effectively intervene with perpetrators and work to stop the violence. 

Myles Morgan, NITV NEWS