News State Victoria Inquiry to target family violence

Inquiry to target family violence

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Victoria’s Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has vowed to establish Australia’s first royal commission into family violence if Labor is elected later this year.

The commission would be established early next year, and Mr Andrews has promised to implement all of its recommendations.

Victorians will vote in a state election in November.

Speaking at the Labor Party’s state conference in Melbourne, Mr Andrews described family violence as a “national emergency”.

“We have to admit that if women and their children were being systematically tormented by total strangers, we would be quick to act. We would do more,” he said.

“What are the politicians doing? Well, we are posing for photographs and we are wearing a ribbon, but we are not asking the really hard questions.

“Some people think the chief duty of a government is to maintain law and order. Well, the biggest law and order issue in our state is unfolding inside our homes.”

Mr Andrews said, if established, the commission would have a broad brief.

“It will investigate criminal law, corrections and the courts,” he said.

“It will look at support services, the health system, alcohol and drug treatment. It will look at refuges, housing and education.

“And, of course, it will look at the resources and the tools that are available to our dedicated Victoria Police.

Mr Andrews said a panel of survivors and support providers would advise and assist the royal commission.

“It will begin its work early next year, reporting to Parliament and to all Victorians by the end of 2015.

“And, a Victorian Labor government will implement its recommendations.”