Friday, 25 November 2011
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) 25 November 2011 commemorates the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women –White Ribbon Day,
(ii) domestic violence occurs in every geographic area and in all socio-economic and cultural groups in Australia, in particular in regional and rural Australia and Indigenous communities,
(iii) the prevention and elimination of domestic violence is a goal of the Australian Government, and yet the Government has failed to fund the continuation of the pilot Bsafe program, which successfully operated in regional Victoria from 2007 to 2010, providing personal safety alarms to women and children at risk of domestic violence to prevent further violence and enable them to remain in their own homes and communities,
(iv) the cessation of the pilot Bsafe program, which was funded through a 3 year $340 000 federal grant that ended in December 2010, caused distress to the women and children and their families and friends who had come to rely on it,
(v) there is an extraordinary level of support for the Bsafe program from the beneficiaries, community workers, police, women's groups and the broader community across the country,
(vi) the Bsafe program won the national Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award in 2010,
(vii) the Bsafe program was extremely cost effective, costing approximately $1 000 for the two safety alarms, and provided enormous benefits in reducing the risk and breaking the cycle of domestic violence, giving assurance to vulnerable women and children and allowing them to return to participating fully in society, as detailed in the Bsafe program evaluation report,
(viii) in Victoria the community sector is ready and eager to expand this potentially life-saving resource to women across the state, and
(ix) one woman who was a recipient of a Bsafe alarm asked 'How much does my life cost'; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) urgently fund the continuation of the successful pilot Bsafe program in regional Victoria to allow women and children continued access to the service, and
(ii) fund the extension of the Bsafe program to other regions in Victoria and into other states.
That the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on the next day of sitting, report to the Senate on the failure of the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) to uphold the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Tasmania, in particular clauses 25 to 27 which stipulated immediate protection of 430000 hectares of high conservation value forests where logging, including clear-felling and burning of ancient forests and wildlife habitat, is continuing.
That the President of the Senate report to the Senate on the next day of sitting on whether the Committee of Privileges is endangered with politicisation by 'SLAPP' writ style references, such as that of Senator Kroger on 22 November 2011, which was publicised by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Abetz) before any adjudication was possible.
That the Senate—
(a) notes the growing support for a sovereign wealth fund (SWF); and
(b) calls on the Government to reconsider a SWF for Australia to be funded with the proceeds of an expanded mining tax.