My adjournment matter is for the Treasurer.
I should probably preface it by apologising to him and his advisers. I imagine that requests to them for funding in this year’s State Budget would probably be piling up exponentially at the moment, and yet here I am about to submit another one to them this evening!
That said, it relates to an initiative that really is in need of funding in my view. This is also one of those rare cases of a program that has the potential, if sufficiently further resourced, to deliver multi-faceted, ongoing savings in a number of other areas of the Budget as well.
Namely, I’m talking here about the Adolescent Family Violence Program – and, more directly, I am requesting that the program now be expanded and sufficiently funded to be delivered on a statewide basis.
I should add that Recommendation 123 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, very specifically, calls for the realisation of this outcome.
Until now, the program – which focuses on providing specialised responses to specific issues affecting young Victorians who use violence in the home and/or against other members of their families – has been implemented only in a selection of areas within the State.
Throughout its existence (at least from my understanding of the views of many of the participants and other stakeholders in the program, and through my discussions with Minister Williams about it), it has nevertheless been producing some consistently outstanding results.
Indeed, according to the Victorian Government website that tracks the progress of the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations, the recently completed formal evaluation of the program found that it led to the following key outcomes (and I quote):
- “young people’s understanding and management of their behaviour improved;
- parents had increased confidence in managing young people’s behaviour;
- the nature and frequency of violence and aggression reduced; and
- education, work and health outcomes for young people improved.”
The value of these kinds of results should not be underplayed.
The minimisation of adolescent violence is tremendously significant in numerous respects, not least in substantially reducing current and future financial burdens on Victoria’s justice and health systems, as well as the State’s economy more broadly. By definition, it also leads to improved outcomes in mental and physical wellbeing at both an individual and family level.
Given this background, the action I seek from the Treasurer is that he indicate whether and when he will supply the urgently-needed additional funding to ensure the full implementation of Recommendation 123 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.