The Albanese Government’s election pledge to deliver family violence workers in the Bendigo and Ballarat electorates is in tatters.
In election commitments announced in May 2022, Ballarat MP Catherine King and Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters each promised five frontline service and community workers for their electorates to support people experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.
In embarrassing revelations in Senate Estimates under questioning from Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, it was revealed that the Albanese Government has failed to deliver a single community worker through its election pledge to create 500 frontline workers. In October 2022, the government promised that 200 workers would be employed this financial year, but with no workers in place and only a few weeks to go this shows that Labor is all talk and no delivery.
It was also revealed in Senate Estimates that the employment of frontline workers in Victoria is in jeopardy because the Albanese Government has failed to secure an agreement with the Victorian Government.
“Seven months after funding this program in the October Budget, there are no frontline workers and no guarantee that any will be delivered for Victoria. After one year in government, this reflects very poorly on the Albanese Government’s performance on women’s safety,” Senator Henderson said.
“The rate of family violence in the Ballarat and Greater Bendigo local government areas is well above the Victorian average. Catherine King and Lisa Chesters made an election pledge that is now in tatters, and that’s simply not good enough,” Senator Henderson said.
Ms King’s joint media release committing to five frontline workers for Ballarat, issued on 11 May 2022, is not on her website.
“Is this an attempt by Ms King to cover up what appears to be a failed election commitment? Ms King owes her constituents an immediate explanation,” Senator Henderson concluded.