The 2023-24 Tasmanian Budget was announced Thursday 25 May. It outlines Tasmanian Government spending for the forthcoming year.
No to Violence welcomes funding for initiatives aimed at early intervention to prevent domestic, family and sexual violence announced in yesterday’s Tasmanian Budget.
The funding includes $1 million over two years allocated to Family Violence Offender Intervention Programs.
While we are grateful for continued investment from the Tasmanian Government, we note there is no significant change in funding levels for the family violence sector.
As the national peak body for organisations and individuals working with men to end their use of family violence, we understand that it is only by increasing focus on perpetrator interventions and accountability that we will end the scourge of family and domestic violence in this country. And that requires sustainable funding.
The truth is it is going to take many years of investment at both state and federal levels to have any confidence that men can access services Australia wide, and that the risk to women and communities from violent men is being addressed.
There is a long, long way to go
We will continue advocating for funding that will ensure a sustainable, evidence-based family violence sector that is driven by a strong and capable workforce.
The purpose of this article is to analyse what the 2023-24 Tasmanian Budget means for our sector. It includes comparisons with the 2022-23 Budget to show where funding changes may impact our work and the work of our members.
- $1 million over two years for Family Violence Offender Intervention Programs.
- $50 million over four years to deliver Tasmania’s Third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan (2022-2027).
- $19.6 million over four years to support the Safe at Home Family Violence Service System.
- More than $60 million has been allocated to funding prisons.
While we welcome additional funding to hold men accountable for their use of family violence, we echo our member’s concerns regarding the significant amount of funding allocated towards carceral responses to family violence in Tasmania.
We feel that this Budget represents a missed opportunity to invest in diversionary initiatives, such as the development of new men’s behaviour change programs (MBCPs) and accommodation-based perpetrator interventions.
Measures with the potential to directly benefit members
$1 million over two years for Family Violence Offender Intervention Programs
The Tasmanian Government has allocated $0.5 million each year in 2023-24 and 2024-25 to delivering men’s family violence interventions.
At this stage, there are no details regarding which programs will receive this funding. NTV will endeavour to seek clarity from the Government on which programs will be funded under this measure.
$50 million over four years to deliver Tasmania’s Third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan (2022-27)
The Tasmanian Government has continued its commitment to ensuring families and communities are free from family and sexual violence, with an ongoing investment of $12.5 million each year from 2023-24 to 2026-27 allocated to delivering the Third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan.
This Action Plan aims to improve women’s safety and health by reducing rates of family violence and creating greater support for victim-survivors. At this stage, it is unclear how this funding will be allocated and whether it will include additional funding for men’s family violence services. NTV will endeavour to seek clarity from the Government on which programs will be funded under this measure.
$19.6 million over four years to support the Safe at Home Family Violence Service System
The Tasmanian Government has provided ongoing funding to meet increased demand and support the delivery of Safe at Home, Tasmania’s integrated criminal justice response to family violence. This funding includes the following annual allocations:
- $784,000 for the Department of Justice
- $447,000 for Tasmania Legal Aid
- $2.5 million for services provided by the Department of Health
- $635,000 for services provided by the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management
- $488,000 for services provided by the Department for Education, Children and Young People
$6.5 million over four years towards women’s shelters
The 2023-24 Budget provides a significant increase in funding for women’s shelters over the next four years, including $1.7 million over four years for Hobart Women’s Shelter ($432,000 per year, compared to $277,000 in 2022-23).
Support for the Family Violence Rapid Rehousing program has continued, with a commitment of $3.9 million over four years allocated to this initiative (a modest increase on 2022-23).
The Annie Kenney Young Women’s Shelter will receive $856,000 over four years to provide emergency accommodation and support to young homeless women, many of whom are under 18.
Unfortunately, no funding has been allocated to perpetrator accommodation and counselling services, despite NTV’s advocacy on this issue.
More than $50 million to create greater safety for children
The Tasmanian Government has continued its commitment to ensuring greater child safety, in line with recent Inquiries.
$42.3 million over four years has been allocated for responses to recommendations under the Department of Education’s Safeguarding Children and Young People initiative, which includes early intervention actions to recognise and respond to harmful sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people.
$8.4 million over two years has been allocated to the Intensive Family Engagement Service System, and a further $1.3 million in 2026-27 for investment into the Child Safety Service System.
While these budget announcements are a step in the right direction, our members have reported that much more work is needed to support children experiencing family violence in Tasmania.
Measures indirectly benefiting members
More than $60 million for expanded prison services
The Tasmanian Government has committed significant funding for the prison system, most notably to expand the capacity of the Risdon Prison. This funding includes $50 million over four years for an additional 52 maximum security beds and $10 million in 2023-24 for the Tasmania Prison Service to meet rising costs associated with a growing prison population.
In addition to the $60 million to support the expansion of the prison, significant funding was committed to replace the digital interface at the prison ($3.2 million over three years) and for additional prison staff to deliver drug and alcohol services ($1 million over two years).
$496,000 in 2024-25 for the Reduce Re-offending Program
Three programs aimed at reducing re-offending received funding in this budget, totalling $496,000 in 2024-25. The funding will be shared between the Australian Red Cross Community Based Health First Aid program training people who are incarcerated to become Special Status Red Cross Volunteers, Dress for Success Hobart Welcome Back(pack) initiative providing clothing, toiletries and job interview support to incarcerated women, and the Connect 42 Just Time Prison Parenting program.
$800,000 in 2023-24 for community activities and initiatives
The Tasmanian Government has committed funding for specific activities under the Community Service Action Plan. The specific activities include the Safe Haven and Multicultural Hubs and activities to support Harmony Week and Seniors Week.
$2.1 million in 2023-24 to the community services sector for indexation
The Tasmanian Government has committed a one-off payment to the community services sector for indexation. There is no other new funding committed to support the community services sector.
$435,000 over 3 years for Kentish House Family Support Service
Kentish House Family Support Service provides a range of support services to Tasmanian families including parenting programs that complement family violence services provided by our members. The Tasmanian Government has allocated $145,000 per year until 2025-26, a decrease of $55,000 per year compared to 2022-23. The Tasmanian Liberals committed funding to Kentish House at the 2018 election.
$2.2 million in 2023-24 for the Closing the Gap Tasmanian Implementation Plan
The Tasmanian Government has committed $2.2 million for 2023-24 to deliver on their Closing the Gap Tasmanian Implementation Plan 2021-2023. This is not new or increased funding. The partners and partnership details are outlined in this implementation plan.
$362,000 in 2023-24 to address parliamentary workplace culture
The Tasmanian Government has committed $362,000 to appoint an Independent Project Manager to implement recommendations arising from the “Motion for Respect Report into Workplace Culture in the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services“. 14 recommendations were made. It is not clear which recommendations or how many will be addressed through this funding.
Other family violence sector measures
$820,000 in 2025-26 Legal Assistance Sector Support
The Tasmanian Government has committed additional core funding for the Legal Assistance Sector, expanding on the Government’s 2021 election commitment.
$70 million over four years for the National Redress Scheme, including for claims against government agencies
This funding supports Tasmania’s participation in the National Redress Scheme to support victim-survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. This $70 million allocation brings the total Tasmanian Government investment under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse to $185 million.
The 2023-24 Tasmanian Budget demonstrates some progress in shifting the burden of family and domestic violence from victim-survivors to the men who use violence.
Significant political leadership and government investment in prevention, early interventions and men’s behaviour change must happen if we are serious about reducing – and ending – the scourge of family and domestic violence in this country.
If we do not address the root causes that enable men to use family violence, they will continue to be violent and abusive.
Our sector is doing truly fantastic work by starting men on their journey to change. But the way services are commissioned leaves little room for evaluation, innovation, research, and a fit-for-purpose service system capable of supporting every man who needs it.
No to Violence will continue advocating on behalf of its Tasmanian members – the organisations and individuals who perform this important work – to ensure the expansion and continued operation of the Tasmanian family violence sector.
Jacqui Watt is the Chief Executive Officer of No to Violence, Australia’s largest peak body for organisations that work with men who use family violence, and the operator of the Men’s Referral Service.
This analysis was developed using insights from the No to Violence Policy and Research team.