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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Lismore fights to save women’s refuge

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Women's RefugeDarren Coyne

Staff and supporters of the Lismore Women and Children’s Refuge rallied outside their local MP’s office yesterday, hoping for a stay of execution.

The refuge, which has been providing crisis accommodation for more than 30 years, is in danger of closing because a State government tendering process did not deem a refuge in Lismore a priority.

Greens candidate for Lismore Adam Guise said closure of the refuge would put women and children, ‘into high risk situations and place an impossible burden on police who will be forced to pick up the pieces’.

Mr Guise called on the state government to guarantee funding because the refuge, ‘is an essential service to a region which tragically has escalating rates of violence to women’.

Far North Coast Family Law Practitioners Association spokesperson Aniko Cripps Clark said the Federal Government had slashed $3 million funding from the region.

‘This cost shifting exercise onto the state, has meant there may no longer be funding for the refuge,’ she said.

‘Closing the refuge may see police and family and community services intervene and children removed into care, where women cannot or will not leave violent situations,” Ms Cripps Clark said

About 30 supporters gathered outside Lismore MP Thomas George’s office in Lismore yesterday to voice their disapproval at the funding cuts.

Refuge supporter Punita Boardman told Echonetdaily said ‘I can’t believe this day has come’.

“If this refuge goes there will be no crisis accommodation in Lismore, so women will have to travel away from the area,’ she said.

She said the Richmond electorate had the second highest rate of domestic violence in the state, and the refuge catered for up to 20 women and children a night.

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.

Mr Guise said the refuge must be saved.

‘Our local members Thomas George and Kevin Hogan must step in and fix this. It will be a damning indictment of the Nationals, if the Refuge closes,’ he said.

 

 


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9 COMMENTS

  1. Another great example of short term buck passing suit wearing men who don’t give a shit about the reality of life at the bottom of a post-industrial culture of abuse of the land, of family etc, the list goes on.

  2. How sad that we need a women’s refuge!
    BUT we really do! Women should always have a space for shelter when needed.
    As The supposed Minister Of Women Tony Abbott – Ha, what a joke! So many cuts to absolutely necessary community resources – what a disgrace this government is!
    Pray for a positive outcome – that’s what we can all do!

  3. They’ve always got billions for armaments, but are too tight to continue funding women’s and children’s refuges, in times of rising violence against them. Why is it that in spite of powerful men having wives and children they make heartless decisions…

  4. Can Punita or someone provide a list of ways we can get involved in offering further support to the Lismore Women’s and Children’s Refuge. It’s madness thinking what women and children have to endure and then have no where to go locally. It torturous and ludicrous! How much more can people bare!!!

  5. Ruth, call the Lismore Women’s and Children’s Refuge on 66212685. They have a Save the Women’s Refuges package they can mail or email for supporters to write letters etc.

  6. Community services, such as, safe shelter for women and children fleeing violence is part of government’s responsibility. It is their role to provide duty of care to communities…government is not a business it is a publicly accountable body governing on behalf of the people.

  7. What, are women and children in Lismore supposed to hide in the scrub alongside the road out of town, as they are sometimes forced to do in lots of small towns/villages across the Northern Rivers?
    Can’t believe how this country has turned into Retreat Australia Fair when it comes social justice, access, equity and basic human rights for citizens who are not comfortably-off, entitled older white males and their families.

  8. Sadly. Noblesse Oblige, I wrote to the Premier recently, & noticed the logo ‘NSW the Business State’. Echoing Tony Abbot’s ‘Australia is now open for business’. This refuge is essential, it is the MINIMUM required in this area.

  9. I would imagine that such a decision would make it even harder for women and children to leave a domestic violence situation. The corporate government would be putting people in mortal danger. Another reason to stop paying them on masse. Stop paying your rates, your taxes, pay off small amounts only to the controlling banking system until they represent our needs. We are the money and when we wake up to it, we hold the power. The government may in fact be the means to our evolution. How much of this will we take?

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