News

Victims of domestic violence will just have to wait

SPEAKING OUT: Adams Guise, Greens candidate for Lismore addressing protesters outside Thomas George MP’s office.
SPEAKING OUT: Adams Guise, Greens candidate for Lismore addressing protesters outside Thomas George MP’s office. Doug Eaton

VICTIMS of domestic violence in the Lismore area will have to go on waiting lists for refuges in Grafton and Tweed because of the closure of the Lismore Women and Children's Refuge.

The refuge may close as early as the end of the month after the NSW Government pulled funding from women's crisis accommodation in Lismore in a new tender process.

Staff at the refuge were not told about the changes to funding eligibility - instead they stumbled across the shock changes when reading the government tender application.

In it, they realised that the Government would continue to fund crisis accommodation in Grafton and Tweed, but not Lismore.

Yesterday, refuge staff and women's services workers met with Greens candidate for Lismore Adam Guise outside Lismore MP Thomas George's office to call for funding to be reinstated.

The refuge was opened in 1978 by then NSW Premier Neville Wran's wife Jill Wran, after it received a special grant from the Premier.

Its founder, Pamela Ashton, said she felt compelled to lobby for a refuge after finding a mum and five children on the Tenterfield Rd outside Casino on a cold winter's night.

The young mother had been dumped at a bus shelter by her drunk husband after complaining he was drinking too much.

"It was a great struggle to set it up in those days because it was a conservative community," Mrs Ashton recalled.

"I feel incredibly worried for women and children," she said of the planned closure.

"These are the people who are the neediest."

Women's services worker, Liz, said the closure would mean some women might choose to stay in domestic violence because the alternative could be impossible to manage.

Refuge resident "Lyn" has spent a month there with her two teenage children after living in the family car for four months.

She was worried the family would have to return to the car if the refuge closes, after failing to secure any subsidised accommodation to help bridge them into the open rental market.

Mr Guise dubbed it "classic cost shifting" which would increase the burden on emergency services and cost more in the long-run.

He said reform in the sector was needed, but the "one size fits all" approach was "naive and short-sighted".

A spokesman from the Department of Family and Community Services said the department was in discussion with the current managers of the refuge and the new provider of homelessness services under the Going Home Staying Home reforms.

"We expect a resolution very soon," he said.

Topics:  domestic violence




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

‘Gonna miss ya, Dad, love ya’: Emotional farewell to Chappy

REMEMBERED: Robin “Chappy” Chapman whose life was remembered at a ceremony at the Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre.

Hundreds gathered for the funeral of much-loved Lennox local

WATCH: Page pollies make their final pitch to voters

The pre-polling booth in Molesworth Street, Lismore.

The marathon campaign has almost come to an end...

Labor odds on to win Page

Labor candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin

Labor is set to win the seat of Page, according to the TAB

Latest deals and offers

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?