2024-2025 State Budget: Leadership shown but sustained investment urgent and vital

May 9, 2024

The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing welcomes the State Government’s 2024-2025 Budget commitment of $96.4 million to respond to and prevent family and domestic violence in Western Australia.  

This funding demonstrates a commitment by the Cook Government to increase WA’s capacity and capability to address the State’s family and domestic violence crisis. As one woman dies every four days in Australia sustained investment is urgent and vital. 

CWSW welcomes the announcement of $1.9 million to establish a lived experience advisory group to inform policy and service design in the sector. This was a key ask at the crisis talks in August 2023, and a recognition that lived experience must be at the centre of all our decision making.  

CWSW chief executive Alison Evans said the funds, in conjunction with the State Government’s Family and Domestic Violence System Blueprint, will help to more effectively manage the risks that perpetrators of domestic and family violence present to women and children and to support safety and recovery of victim-survivors.  

“Too many women and children in Western Australia are living in fear every day. We thank the Cook Government for the leadership shown by committing to a Family and Domestic Violence System Reform Plan. Building a safe system for women and children experiencing family and domestic violence is necessary to prevent further harm and death. 

“It is pleasing that the Government heard our urgent call at the Crisis Talks in 2023 for investment across prevention, early intervention, crisis response and recovery/reestablishment and healing. But the current crisis demands more serious investment if we are to build safe systems and communities where women and children are not living in fear of men’s violence and abuse.  

“In the 2023-24 State Budget our critical refuge and safe houses received an $18 million uplift. This fell woefully short of what is required to ensure that adult and child victim survivors get the support they need when they need it. We had hoped to see this severe underspend rectified in the 2024-2025 Budget announcement, but this is not the case.  

“Funding to address housing shortages is also welcome. However, the domestic violence sector needs targeted funds to ensure victim survivors are not forced to continue to live with the person harming them because they have nowhere else to go. 

“Regrettably, there have been no funding announcements to support the implementation of the Aboriginal Family Safety Strategy. The Strategy – the first of its kind in WA – aims to ensure all Aboriginal families and communities are safe, strong, and thriving and preferences Aboriginal-led responses to family violence. It includes a focus on healing, supporting men and boys, transforming service provision to drive local, sustainable, and culturally safe solutions, and using culture as the guiding frame for prevention and early intervention.  

“Given its high prevalence and devastating impact, it’s important to also turn our minds to sexual violence. There is more work to be done in this area, especially in the regions which haven’t seen an increase in funding for specialist services in almost a decade. We’re continuing to call on the government to deliver and resource a sexual violence strategy, legal and justice reform and appropriate funding for the sexual assault sector and peak.  

“What we need now is a strong partnership between government and family, domestic and sexual violence services, lived experience experts and subject matter experts to drive courageous and sustained action that includes increased and continued investment into primary prevention, early intervention, crisis response and long-term recovery support for adult and child victim survivors.”  



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