By Victoria Stone-Meadows
Casey Council have passed a resolution to perform and audit on how the Council is currently addressing family violence across the municipality.
Councillor Rex Flannery raised the motion at a council meeting on Tuesday 4 April where it was widely supported by council members.
The motion adopted by council will see officers provide a report to council within one month that outlines the programs and actions Casey Council undertakes to reduce family violence rates.
This report will inform how Casey Council moves forward with education and support services in the area.
The motion also requires the council to erect banners on the major entry and exit points of the municipality that publicly show Council’s support for anti-family violence campaigns.
When presenting the motion, Cr Flannery was avid the report take into consideration recommendations from the recent Royal Commission into family violence.
“There are 227 recommendations from the Royal Commission that are very important to implement, and all levels of government need to be working through it together to sort that out,” he said.
“I want to have an update on what Casey’s plan is for family violence and what we can do to support the battered women and families affected by this.”
As part of the move towards tackling family violence in City of Casey, Cr Flannery said solutions need to be found through a community, government, and council partnership.
“I’d like to see open forums about family violence and get people there from mental health groups, family violence groups, multicultural societies and leaders and discuss the causes of and solutions to this problem.”
“I want to really get the ball rolling and have these discussions with community groups and sit down and see what their feedback is from their communities and what we as a council can do to help.”
Councillors Susan Serey and Amanda Stapledon also made note during the council meeting that any action by Casey Council on family violence would need to tackle alcohol and drugs and be targeted towards multicultural communities that make up the municipality.
“The terms of reference of the Royal Commission did not require it to examine the causes of family violence only the responses and this was a significant lost opportunity to understand the complexities of domestic violence as it affects multicultural communities,” Cr Serey said.
“Not enough is understood in this area and examination of the causes may have given us a better opportunity to understand these issues and customise responses to deal with them.”
Cr Flannery said it’s important that council as well as state and federal governments commit to long term solutions to family violence.
“I am prepared to commit to a reform that’s equally shared between all parties; greens, reds, blues or browns, as long as we all sit down and agree that a 10-year plan is a 10-year plan,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what gender, if you think you can assault anyone, you are wrong.”