HORSHAM Rural City Council will advocate for the creation of a family violence safety hub in Horsham.
The council passed a motion at its meeting on Monday to advocate on behalf of the community for a family violence support and safety hub, known as The Orange Door.
It was announced earlier this month that The Orange Door hubs would be rolled out in Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton, taking the total across Victoria to eight.
Related: Wimmera misses out on safety hub
In his report to the council, community wellbeing director Kevin O’Brien said the establishment of the safety hubs was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
“It is expected that hubs will be established and operational across all 17 Department of Health and Human Services local areas by 2021,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The family violence incident rate in Horsham Rural City Council area between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, was 2470.6 per 100,000 people. (This) is the seventh highest in the state. (Our shire) has consistently had the highest rate of family violence incidents in the Grampians Region between 2011 to 2017.”
He said there might only be one support and safety hub for the Western District, most likely to be located in Warrnambool.
“This is a significant issue for the Wimmera. Considering the size of the DHHS Western District Area there should be two hubs,” he said.
Cr Les Power said he supported the motion.
“We are always pushing the idea that we are a regional city and that we miss out on things; the fact that there will be one in Warrnambool but not Horsham shatters me,” he said.
“There needs to be a push to get one here. It’s not okay for people in need of safety to be shipped off down south at a time of distress; they will be taken away from their support networks at home. The state government needs to listen to what we need.”
Cr Mark Radford also supported the motion.
“A few years back we were successful in working with a number of community groups in lobbying to establish a headspace in Horsham; if we work together as a team, then we will have a better chance at getting what we need,” he said.
Mayor Pam Clarke said the council would work with community groups to lobby for the safety hub.
“When the state government initially announced the safety hubs, Horsham was on the list – then all of a sudden it dropped off,” she said.
“We need to continue to lobby with organisations to make this happen.”
All councillors were in favour of the motion’s recommendation to write to a number of politicians, asking them to advocate for a hub.
The names listed were Prevention of Family Violence Minister Natalie Hutchins; Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings; Health Minister Jill Hennessey; Member for Lowan Emma Kealy; Member for Western Victoria Joshua Morris; Member for Western Victoria James Purcell; Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford; Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney; Families and Children, and Prevention of Family Violence Shadow Minister Georgie Crozier; and Health Shadow Minister Mary Wooldridge.
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