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New levy to fund family violence package

By Charlotte Harper - 7 June 2016 36

Andrew Barr

Canberra residential and rural property owners will pay a Safer Families Levy of $30 per year on top of existing rates charges from July to fund a suite of family violence prevention initiatives in the territory.

The Government’s $21.42 million Safer Families package forms one of the key components of the 2016/17 ACT Budget. The Levy will contribute $19.1 million of the total cost of the program, and will be collected via the existing rates notice system.

Among the commitments is a full-time Coordinator-General for Family Safety and a dedicated family safety team to work in partnership with affected families and the community to improve outcomes. This team will come at a cost of $3.07 million.

A further $2,606,000 will be spent to strengthen integrated case management and coordinaton of services for victims of family violence.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in his Budget speech today that family violence wasn’t just a problem for police, government or poor people. It was everyone’s problem.

“Family violence does not discriminate,” Mr Barr said.

“It is a national issue that touches the lives of Australians everywhere. In Canberra, we’ve seen our share of tragedy.

“All of us need to stand up and say enough is enough. There is no place for family violence in our community.”

He described the budget commitment of $21.4 million as unprecedented.

“Recent reports commissioned by the Territory Government, together with the Victorian Royal Commission, make it clear that we need to take more action and we need new sources of revenue to fund it.”

The Budget papers outline several other steps the Government would take through the package to prevent violence.

To enhance quality assurance and support improved decision making of child protection services, the Government will spend $2.471 million.

Funding of $770,000 will go towards training for frontline staff across Community and Emergency Services, Health and Education to support identification of family violence and early intervention.

A spend of $2 million will be designed to increase the capacity of specialist drug treatment services to deliver programs that address family violence.

There will be a $1,223,000 investment in translation and interpreting services in ACT courts/tribunals and specialist family violence services.

Other elements of the package include: a brokerage and bond fund to assist victims seeking to escape family violence with immediate expenses ($315,000); increased funding for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre ($1,246,000); a residential behaviour change program for men who use or are at risk of using violence ($964,000); funding to allow ACT Policing to better assist victims in applying for Domestic Violence Orders; $1,363,000 for the Director of Public Prosecutions to strengthen criminal justice responses to alleged perpetrators of family violence; $1,214,000 for Legal Aid to improve family violence victims’ access to legal services; and $20,000 for the Tara Costigan Foundation to assist in the establishment of the Tara’s Angels Service to support victims rebuild their lives.

The ACT Attorney-General will also direct $850,000 worth of proceeds of crime monies from the Confiscated Assets Trust Fund towards initiatives assisting indigenous families experiencing family violence.

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New levy to fund family violence package
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dungfungus 12:26 pm 09 Jun 16

JC said :

Leon said :

I don’t suppose ACT Housing pays rates but they should still pay the levy as most DV probably occurs in public housing.

I should probably just leave this well alone, but are you seriously trying to suggest that anyone who can afford to rent privately or own their own home doesn’t have DV occur?

No, he’s not. It’s quite clear from what he said. You’re inferring it in an attempt to discredit his argument.

Leon said :

Diminishing DV by implying that it is mostly linked to low income or disability or education is pretty far below the belt.

If you’d bothered to look at the data, instead of jumping to touchy-feely conclusions, you’d see he’s not wrong. From the Australian Insitute of Criminology:

“There is no single cause or factor that leads to domestic violence. A number of risk factors have been identified as associated with perpetrators of domestic violence. These include age, low academic achievement, low income or exclusion from the labour market, social disadvantage and isolation and exposure to, or involvement in, aggressive or delinquent behaviour as an adolescent (Flood & Fergus 2008; NSW Office for Women’s Policy 2008). Many of these same risk factors have been linked to an increased likelihood of aggressive behaviour and offending generally.”

I did say “most” but if that doesn’t fit the narrative, read what Mysteryman said also.

Mysteryman 9:53 am 09 Jun 16

Leon said :

I don’t suppose ACT Housing pays rates but they should still pay the levy as most DV probably occurs in public housing.

I should probably just leave this well alone, but are you seriously trying to suggest that anyone who can afford to rent privately or own their own home doesn’t have DV occur?

No, he’s not. It’s quite clear from what he said. You’re inferring it in an attempt to discredit his argument.

Leon said :

Diminishing DV by implying that it is mostly linked to low income or disability or education is pretty far below the belt.

If you’d bothered to look at the data, instead of jumping to touchy-feely conclusions, you’d see he’s not wrong. From the Australian Insitute of Criminology:

“There is no single cause or factor that leads to domestic violence. A number of risk factors have been identified as associated with perpetrators of domestic violence. These include age, low academic achievement, low income or exclusion from the labour market, social disadvantage and isolation and exposure to, or involvement in, aggressive or delinquent behaviour as an adolescent (Flood & Fergus 2008; NSW Office for Women’s Policy 2008). Many of these same risk factors have been linked to an increased likelihood of aggressive behaviour and offending generally.”

HenryBG 9:45 am 09 Jun 16

madelini said :

Ah. Fixed again. I wish it were true that women don’t resort to violence at times but you’re right of course, some do. I wondered what the gender breakdown was in the stats and found these:

‘The vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behavior that occurs in the privacy of people’s homes is committed by men against women. The most recent information on violence in Australia comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Survey (national survey of 16,400 adults in Australian aged 18 years and over) conducted in 2005.’

The claim is transparently spurious.

The largest single category of domestic violence is women-on-child violence.

The ABS report quoted only surveys adults.

dungfungus 8:51 am 09 Jun 16

bj_ACT said :

Also if a person lived a BDSM lifestyle where they conceptually participated in violent acts, what would they say on the PSS. Current or former partner had hit them? sure but they probably asked them too.

One popular website for BDSM and other kink related activity has over 180,000 members listed from Australia. That’s about 1% of us.

Well, according to the Canberra Times this morning, Mr Barr is quoted as saying “people in Housing Trust residences are exempted from the levy” so your BDSM colleagues should move into public housing ASAP, if they are not already there.

Kalliste 8:19 am 09 Jun 16

bj_ACT said :

Also if a person lived a BDSM lifestyle where they conceptually participated in violent acts, what would they say on the PSS. Current or former partner had hit them? sure but they probably asked them too.

One popular website for BDSM and other kink related activity has over 180,000 members listed from Australia. That’s about 1% of us.

I hope this is an attempt at humour.

There’s a difference between family (or any) violence/abuse and a consensual BDSM act where all parties have an agreement about what they will/want to do and when to stop. I would say someone who had a BDSM lifestyle would say no they haven’t experienced violence from a partner because that isn’t what BDSM is.

gooterz 11:17 pm 08 Jun 16

Also if a person lived a BDSM lifestyle where they conceptually participated in violent acts, what would they say on the PSS. Current or former partner had hit them? sure but they probably asked them too.

One popular website for BDSM and other kink related activity has over 180,000 members listed from Australia. That’s about 1% of us.

gooterz 11:11 pm 08 Jun 16

joingler said :

madelini said :

Masquara said :

CyberJam said :

“a residential behaviour change program for me who use or at risk of using violence ”
Hopefully you get help before you do something Charlotte.

$30 per year at $19.1 million is 600,000 rates bills. Seems every week there is a new tax or levy.

That’s a very strange typo! Thanks, @gooterz, fixed.

Thanks. Not that it makes it better but the budget pages now say this is for men only. As men are the only ones that will use violence….

Ah. Fixed again. I wish it were true that women don’t resort to violence at times but you’re right of course, some do. I wondered what the gender breakdown was in the stats and found these:

‘The vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behavior that occurs in the privacy of people’s homes is committed by men against women. The most recent information on violence in Australia comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Survey (national survey of 16,400 adults in Australian aged 18 years and over) conducted in 2005.’

‘The majority of violence against men is committed by other men. Of men who reported that they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey, 73.7% said that the perpetrator was a male.’

at http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence-statistics.php

Some more recent data for you:

Experience of partner violence – since the age of 15

Women were more likely than men to experience violence by a partner. In 2012, an estimated 17% of all women aged 18 years and over (1,479,900 women) and 5.3% of all men aged 18 years and over (448,000 men) had experienced violence by a partner since the age of 15.

Experience of partner violence during the last 12 months

Women were more likely than men to have experienced violence by a partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. In the 12 months prior to the survey an estimated 132,500 women (1.5% of all women aged 18 years and over) had experienced violence by a partner compared to 51,800 men (0.6% of all men aged 18 years and over).

Personal Safety survey 2012.
Women in the ACT experience of violence
Table 3 FEMALES EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS, Relationship to perpetrator – Australian Capital Territory(a)

experienced violence in the last 12 months.
6.3% of women.

Of this only 2% was a partner, are we not worries about the other 4% of stranger or other known persons? (1 in 3 is violence from partners (either former or current))

1 in 3 males are also victims whom get very little support.
The 0.6% is still 150 thousand abusive women. Abusive to men in front of children.

PSS collects data from only females on a state level and males and females nationally. So there is no breakdown for ACT.
However its an opt out survey. of the 6600 males selected only 3700 took part in the survey.
Given males are much less likely to admit being attacked by a women I would say that the real numbers are much higher. Similarly given all the publicity about DV a women might be more inclined to take part and artificially increase the numbers.

Its doubtful that men would feel able to share their experiences of partner violence where practically all DV programs completely downplay the ability of men to be victims.
If DV against men is so low then why are male suicides for ever age bracket 2-3 times that of women?
Of all deaths classified as suicide in 2009, over three-quarters (77%) were males (2,132), (ABS 4125.0 – Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2012 )

The difference between these stats is that suicides come from government data. Where experience of violence is subjective by the person getting interviewed.
A male victim of partner violence can choose not to participate where a male suicide can’t opt out of having their data recorded.

As a male I would probably gloss over/downplay violent acts from former partners.

Mordd 10:20 pm 08 Jun 16

I don’t suppose ACT Housing pays rates but they should still pay the levy as most DV probably occurs in public housing.

I should probably just leave this well alone, but are you seriously trying to suggest that anyone who can afford to rent privately or own their own home doesn’t have DV occur? Diminishing DV by implying that it is mostly linked to low income or disability or education is pretty far below the belt.

buzz819 6:59 pm 08 Jun 16

madelini said :

Masquara said :

CyberJam said :

“a residential behaviour change program for me who use or at risk of using violence ”
Hopefully you get help before you do something Charlotte.

$30 per year at $19.1 million is 600,000 rates bills. Seems every week there is a new tax or levy.

That’s a very strange typo! Thanks, @gooterz, fixed.

Thanks. Not that it makes it better but the budget pages now say this is for men only. As men are the only ones that will use violence….

Ah. Fixed again. I wish it were true that women don’t resort to violence at times but you’re right of course, some do. I wondered what the gender breakdown was in the stats and found these:

‘The vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behavior that occurs in the privacy of people’s homes is committed by men against women. The most recent information on violence in Australia comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Survey (national survey of 16,400 adults in Australian aged 18 years and over) conducted in 2005.’

‘The majority of violence against men is committed by other men. Of men who reported that they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey, 73.7% said that the perpetrator was a male.’

at http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence-statistics.php

Some more recent data for you:

Experience of partner violence – since the age of 15

Women were more likely than men to experience violence by a partner. In 2012, an estimated 17% of all women aged 18 years and over (1,479,900 women) and 5.3% of all men aged 18 years and over (448,000 men) had experienced violence by a partner since the age of 15.

Experience of partner violence during the last 12 months

Women were more likely than men to have experienced violence by a partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. In the 12 months prior to the survey an estimated 132,500 women (1.5% of all women aged 18 years and over) had experienced violence by a partner compared to 51,800 men (0.6% of all men aged 18 years and over).

OpenYourMind 5:09 pm 08 Jun 16

Tref said :

I don’t think you can pass a levy on to your tenants. Well you can try, but I don’t think the tenants are legally obliged to pay it.

Of course not. But landlords will increase the pw rental to cover Annual Rates, levies, etc.

This seems like a common misconception. Landlords can’t just say “rates are up, there’s a new levy, I will increase rent”. Rent is usually set by what the market is willing to pay.

Charlotte Harper 4:37 pm 08 Jun 16

Masquara said :

CyberJam said :

“a residential behaviour change program for me who use or at risk of using violence ”
Hopefully you get help before you do something Charlotte.

$30 per year at $19.1 million is 600,000 rates bills. Seems every week there is a new tax or levy.

That’s a very strange typo! Thanks, @gooterz, fixed.

Thanks. Not that it makes it better but the budget pages now say this is for men only. As men are the only ones that will use violence….

Ah. Fixed again. I wish it were true that women don’t resort to violence at times but you’re right of course, some do. I wondered what the gender breakdown was in the stats and found these:

‘The vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behavior that occurs in the privacy of people’s homes is committed by men against women. The most recent information on violence in Australia comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Survey (national survey of 16,400 adults in Australian aged 18 years and over) conducted in 2005.’

‘The majority of violence against men is committed by other men. Of men who reported that they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey, 73.7% said that the perpetrator was a male.’

at http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence-statistics.php

I am a Rabbit™ 1:43 pm 08 Jun 16

I don’t think you can pass a levy on to your tenants. Well you can try, but I don’t think the tenants are legally obliged to pay it.

Even if arcadelt attempts to pass it on, I doubt it will work out well for her/him. Rental prices are now in decline across Australia (In the case of Canberra, you need to account for inflation) so passing on levies to tenants is pretty dangerous now. The over-supply of units (and the coming oversupply of detached dwellings) is only getting larger, so renters are ripe for choice. Passing on levies like this could result in vacancies, and that potential far outstrips the cost of the levy.

rommeldog56 12:31 pm 08 Jun 16

I don’t think you can pass a levy on to your tenants. Well you can try, but I don’t think the tenants are legally obliged to pay it.

Of course not. But landlords will increase the pw rental to cover Annual Rates, levies, etc.

dungfungus 12:22 pm 08 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

This levy will be passed on directly to my tenants. We do not live in the ACT so will never be a beneficiary of this service, but my tenants will – therefore, it is only fair that they pay. This is no different to the emergency services levy that Queensland Government introduced many years ago to pay for ambulance and fire services to the home. In that case, we only passed on part of the levy, as fire fighting at least had a relationship to the home and not just the occupants.

As will the 17% (I think that was the amount anyway) increase in Annual Rates for Units, have to be passed onto tenants by landlords.

What was that about the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t supporting “affordable housing” again…….?

Apparently if you live in a warehouse or the back of a shop the levy doesn’t apply so some abodes will now be more affordable than others.

dungfungus 11:50 am 08 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

“Why shouldn’t renters also pay a levy to fund DV initiatives?

This levy will be passed on directly to my tenants. We do not live in the ACT so will never be a beneficiary of this service, but my tenants will – therefore, it is only fair that they pay. This is no different to the emergency services levy that Queensland Government introduced many years ago to pay for ambulance and fire services to the home. In that case, we only passed on part of the levy, as fire fighting at least had a relationship to the home and not just the occupants.

I don’t think you can pass a levy on to your tenants. Well you can try, but I don’t think the tenants are legally obliged to pay it.

You do in a commercial lease but the DV levy doesn’t apply to commercial dwellings.

Testfest 11:01 am 08 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

“Why shouldn’t renters also pay a levy to fund DV initiatives?

This levy will be passed on directly to my tenants. We do not live in the ACT so will never be a beneficiary of this service, but my tenants will – therefore, it is only fair that they pay. This is no different to the emergency services levy that Queensland Government introduced many years ago to pay for ambulance and fire services to the home. In that case, we only passed on part of the levy, as fire fighting at least had a relationship to the home and not just the occupants.

I don’t think you can pass a levy on to your tenants. Well you can try, but I don’t think the tenants are legally obliged to pay it.

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