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Queensland Government media release

The Palaszczuk Government’s 2017-18 Budget will invest $1.37 billion to keep children safe and support vulnerable Queenslanders.

Minister Shannon Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government had restored services for families after the LNP cut more than $259 million in funding from Queensland’s community sector.

The 2017-18 Budget commits a total of $260.8 million for Community Services, including:

  • 3.4 million over three years for two new women’s shelters in areas of high demand in south-east Queensland. This is in addition to a capital investment of $3.5 million in 2017-18 by the Department of Housing and Public Works;
  • Continued investment of $43.1 million over four years for new and enhanced domestic and family violence services including counselling and support services for victims;
  • $10.3 million over four years to strengthen domestic violence intervention organisations; and
  • $8.2 million over four years to support High Risk Teams as part of integrated responses to domestic and family violence.

“These new shelters will change the lives of women and children in crisis in areas where we are seeing a spike in reporting of domestic and family violence cases,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe, and these new shelters will ensure women and children in crisis can be safe.”

The Budget also commits a record $1.11 billion to child and family services, an increase of 9.8% over the previous year.

Ms Fentiman said critical investments in child safety, increasing support for people afflicted by domestic violence and tackling the scourge of ice and other drug addictions were showing results in communities across Queensland.

Budget investments include:

  • Additional funding of $82.4 million over three years in recognition of increased award rates for social and community services employees;
  • $25 million over four years to provide financial counselling and support to vulnerable people through Good Money stores;
  • $7.4 million over three years to support the Action On Ice initiative;
  • $13.4 million for extensive family support in high needs areas and $6.9 million to support foster and kinship carers in 2017-18

“I am particularly pleased to see we are supporting frontline community service staff to get the recognition they deserve, with improved pay in line with Fair Work Australia’s 2012 Equal Remuneration Order,” Ms Fentiman said.

“They work incredibly hard and they deserve to be properly paid for the amazing work they do.

“Our frontline staff are making real differences in the lives of Queenslanders every day, and this Budget is supporting those staff in the critical work that they do,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This budget invests in our staff, ensuring that critical frontline child safety staff are supported in their work and are suitably rewarded for the amazing job that they do each and every day.”

This record $1.11 billion investment includes $200 million for almost 300 new Child Safety staff announced on Saturday.

Ms Fentiman said the new staff would take pressure off the amazing Child Safety workers who are already doing an amazing job.

“These staff do incredible work that turns many people’s lives around and helps them at the most stressful and difficult times of their lives,” Ms Fentiman said.

Ms Fentiman said these ongoing investments demonstrated the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to communities and families under stress.

“Our child safety and community support staff fight every day to help children and vulnerable people live safe, happy and fulfilled lives, and our record funding commitments show that we’ve got their backs,” Ms Fentiman said.

Since 2015 the Palaszczuk Government has been steadily and deliberately restoring funding to frontline services for children and families. These significant investments bring our total budget for Child and Family Services to over $1.1 billion for 2017-18 and places Queensland’s child protection system on a sustainable path.

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