Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Ministers Take Action to Reduce Violence Against Women

The  Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, today chaired the inaugural meeting of Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers to develop a joint plan to reduce violence against women.

The new plan will be a joint plan of action for the Australian Government and all States and Territories to coordinate effort to reduce violence against women. The plan is expected to be discussed in COAG and finalised in 2010.

The National Plan will build on the expert advice and recommendations of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, who presented their report Time for Action to the Australian Government in April 2009.

The report is informed by the views of more than 2,000 Australians including victims, government representatives, legal professionals and the judiciary. Six expert roundtables were additionally held and 370 submissions were received.

Ministers attending the meeting hold a range of portfolios including Attorneys General, Ministers for Women and Ministers for Community Services. The Council has been formed to bring together the efforts of different areas of government to reduce violence against women.

The National Plan will include a comprehensive range of outcomes that will deliver tangible improvements to the lives of women and children affected by violence. The Plan will also identify specific actions through a series of four Three Year Action Plans and set out responsibilities and timeframes for reducing violence against women and children.

The first Three Year Action Plan will recognise current work, demonstrate a commitment to achieve better outcomes for victims of violence and their children, and build an evidence base for future effort.

Ministers will next meet on 5 November 2009.