Transcript by The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Doorstop interview

Location: Sydney


MINISTER MORRISON: It is great to be here today and it is particularly wonderful to be visiting the incredible work done by 1800 RESPECT. Minister Cash and I have had a tremendous opportunity to be briefed on the work that is being done here and I really can’t go much further other than to say an incredible thank you for the service of the people who work here in providing this support to people who are suffering trauma, people who are reaching out at a time of great need and are looking for professional support to take them to the next step they need to take – be taken to. We are very pleased to be to able to be supporting the work of 1800 RESPECT and to have provided the additional funding support of $4 million to deal with the sadly increase in the number of calls – increase in calls as a result of the need that is there. I think it is one of the positive things, at the very least, I think that the national focus that is being brought to the issue of domestic family violence, of sexual abuse, of abuse that occurs within families more broadly that people are understand there are services out there that can support them and that there is an opportunity to reach out and get the help that can take people hopefully and eventually out of a position of harm and out of risk and out of abuse. This is part of broader work being done by the Government, in partnership with all sides of politics, this is one of those issues that rightly I think endures broad political support and I want to thank all of those different voices in politics for the unity of purpose and focus that has been brought to this issue and I particularly want to commend Minister Cash for the work that she has been doing, working with everyone from law enforcement, to service providers, to community and of course we acknowledge the work of Rosie Batty and Ken Ley in the work that they’re doing and we are looking forward to receiving their recommendations and being able to act on them. So we want to thank 1800 RESPECT but particularly the people who work here; not unlike police officers or other emergency service workers who go into positions of great difficultly the same workers do that here as councillors on the end of a phone or online or other places, reaching into a very difficult situation and the stress they are under and the pressures that are there on them I think we should be very mindful of and we should be very appreciative of their service. It really is a great service so it is our pleasure to be able to provide that support and continue to provide the support that is necessary for 1800 RESPECT.

The other reason we are here is well we are joined by our colleagues from the sporting world and Our Watch is to announce that $1 million will also be provide through Our Watch, and I want to commend Our Watch for the work they have done in leading this process, to Netball, to Rugby League and to Rugby Union and the AFL as they continue to be tremendous partners in getting the community message out there when it comes to domestic family violence and abuse that can occur in those situations. We want to wish all of them all the best in their various codes, particularly Caitlin here with the World Cup coming up.

MINISTER CASH: Absolutely.

MINISTER MORRISON: We are very excited about what the Diamonds will be doing in the upcoming World Cup, particularly when we are at a place at 1800 RESPECT where there has been so much strong support from Netball for that service we really are thrilled about the fact that we will be able to be joining you through Our Watch in this but also to the guys from Rugby League and the AFL there is – while I am wearing a Sharkies tie today and we have got the Bulldogs here as well but we are at one when it comes to the issue of domestic family violence. I want to thank all the codes for the very strong support of this and it is great to have you guys here with us today. Thank you for your very strong support, Michaelia?

MINISTER CASH: Thank you, I too am just absolutely delighted to be here today to see firsthand with Minister Morrison the fantastic work that 1800 RESPECT does for those who are experiencing domestic family violence or sexual assault. One of the services that 1800 RESPECT does provide to those experiencing domestic family violence or sexual assault is an online web based service. I am delighted that the government is able to announce today that we are going to be providing to 1800 RESPECT an additional $370,000 so that they are able to expand their website content. In the last year the 1800 RESPECT website received over 172,000 hits, which I think is a clear indication that this is a service that is being used by people in need. The website provides a number of services to people including online counselling, including education resources for frontline services providers but it also provides information to unique groups of women, culturally and linguistically diverse women and indigenous women in terms of their unique needs in experiencing domestic family violence or sexual assault. The funding we hope will go towards also ensuring that women who are experiencing technology facilitated abuse understand their rights in relation to this area but also are able to understand how they deal with technology facilitated abuse. Technology is a wonderful thing and certainly it enables us to provide people who are experiencing this type of violence with the resources that they need but we also know that technology can be used by perpetrators to stalk their victims, revenge porn to upload pictures taken whilst in an intimate relationship, to continually harass someone at all times of the day and night, inundate them with calls, we need to ensure that the types of violence and the tools that are being used by perpetrators that are emerging are also at the frontline of ensuring that their victims know what they are able to do. So again delighted to be here today at 1800 RESPECT and delighted to be able to say the government is providing an additional $370,000 so that they are able to expand their online web based services.

MINISTER MORRISON: Thank you Michaelia, I mean Our Watch – maybe if you would like to…

MINISTER CASH: Paul do you want to jump in?

PAUL LINOSSIER: The job of Our Watch is to reach to every corner of Australian society and share the message and engage in the conversation that men’s violence against women can be prevented and we are joining with four codes today, the ARU, the NRL, the AFL and Netball Australia with a reach to nearly four million participants across the country. So what a fantastic way to take that conversation – a conversation led by role models, by players from our next generation for young people that they have a right to respectful relationships, that the key influences in community and society are standing up and saying “in our code, in our sport this is the conduct we expect, in our society this is what we aspire to and if men and women work together we can create an Australia that is free of violence against women.”

MINISTER MORRISON: Thanks very much Paul. If there are questions on this topic then happy to take those now and I am sure if any of the other guys wanted to say something, Aiden, Tom, Caitlin I am sure they would be happy to but it is great to have their support. We were also going to be joined by Israel Folau today but unfortunately the Rugby Union has a pretty big game coming up and we wish them all the best and we thank them very much, the Australian Rugby Union, for their support as well. Any questions on this topic? Well we might thank our colleagues and thanks very much for being here today we wish you all the best, I suspect there may be some other questions there usually is and we might move to those. Thanks guys, thanks very much.