John Gomez

Sunshine Coast DV workers implore Fentiman to dig deep

SHOW us the money.

That's the message three Sunshine Coast domestic violence workers delivered to Women's Minister Shannon Fentiman on Thursday.

Representatives from Sonshine Sanctuary, Lions In Place and Alliance yesterday joined family violence workers from across the state at the launch of the Combined Women's Refuge Group's More Than Just A Bed: The Contribution of Women's Refuges in Queensland report.

The Sunshine coast representatives used the launch, attended by Ms Fentiman, to ask for money for their services.

However, it will be a few weeks before they know if their call will be answered because the government is waiting until an audit into statewide services is complete.

Alliance co-ordinator Jean, who did not want to use her last name, said her shared accommodation refuge helped four families at a time.

She said the refuge, which receives no government funding, needed support to extend its services.

"The point is, we need money," Jean said.

"Whatever they can give us.

"But we want to make it clear that refuges need to be funded before they start doing anything else."

READ MORE: State Government considers 18 demands from DV workers

Susan, a team leader at Lions In Place, said her organisation's refuge was "not funded adequately".

She said the 12-family facility could take double the number of women if more money was forthcoming.

"Our issue would be that we don't have enough resources to support women and children when they are in the refuge and the exit points (further accommodation) are very limited," Susan said.

Sonshine Sanctuary coordinator Cindy said her service was helping four families a night.

"We could take more if there was more money," she said.

All three organisations depend heavily on community support.

Ms Fentiman said she would not make any promises about funding until a statewide audit was completed.

"In terms of further investment KPMG has an audit underway of what (refuge accommodation) is available across Queensland and they are due to report back next month," she said.

"Then we will make a decision about what investment is needed right across Queensland.

"We know there is an urgent need for crisis accommodation and in the longer term we need to transition women into social housing, public housing.

"We are working ... to make sure there are options for women once they've escaped that crisis situation and to go on and have a family home to rebuild their lives."

If you need support phone Womensline on 1800 811 811, Mensline on 1800 600 636 or 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.



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