Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Parties need to ‘bring it’ to election

It’s that time of the election cycle again when the various parties promise funds for varying issues across the community. So let’s take a quick snapshot and see what any state government can (and more importantly should) do.

The Berejiklian government has a disappointing record of “funding” measures to combat domestic violence, especially surrounding the Going Home Staying Home policy, which saw many funding cuts to refuges and front-line services. Labor will re-fund that. There is a current trend of community/privately funded refuges in NSW. I would personally like to see refuges funded in perpetuity. I find it really hard to see local conservative (wealthy) politicians shaking an orange bucket at the local shopping centre to fund a safe place for women to stay alive.

It’s now current policy (as of January 2019) for 10 days DV leave for public sector workers (it’s 20 in Victoria) but Labor introduced a bill at the end of last year proposing to legislate 10 days DV leave for both public and private sector workers after it committed to the policy in December 2017.

What’s most exciting is the announcement that if NSW Labor wins in March the state will join Our Watch as part of an anti-DV initiative to deliver respectful relationships from an early age. NSW is the only state in Australia currently not part of this program. How is this possible? How can NSW not be part of one of the most effective preventative programs? Please explain, Gladys.

But let’s look right past obvious policy (or lack thereof) for funding DV and go back further. It’s a common conservative philosophy to “band-aid” issues, fixing things as they go like leaky taps, instead of trying to figure out why the taps are leaking.

How about policies/ideas that balance the law when it comes to women’s rights? How about addressing the root causes of domestic violence?

So let’s de-criminalise abortion, it’s the only medical procedure in the criminal act. Labor will put this front and centre if they win. The Safe Access Bill championed by Penny Sharpe, ALP MLC (upper house), was passed (just) recently, another step towards equality. Women can now seek medical advice and attention free from harassment.

Ideas, sometimes bold ones, are what policy is made of. Good policy seeks to level the legislative playing field.

And if you don’t think these “fringe” efforts are important, please show me one piece of legislation that explicitly affects men’s rights to their bodies.

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