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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Trafficking victim support contract awarded

Senator Kay Patterson, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, today announced the successful tenderer to provide case management support to the victims of people trafficking in Australia.

As part of the Australian Government’s commitment to combat people trafficking a package of more than $20 million over four years was announced last year. The Victim Support Package forms part of this strategy.

Senator Kay Patterson said she was pleased to award the contract to Southern Edge Training Pty Ltd.

“I have no doubt that Southern Edge Training will provide excellent case management to the victims of people trafficking as evidenced by the strong work they have done in the area of sex worker transition in Queensland,” Senator Patterson said.

“Victims of trafficking have often been subjected to the worst possible treatment and the support they receive will be crucial in re-establishing their lives.

“The Victim Support Package will provide a comprehensive range of support services to victims who agree to stay in Australia to assist trafficking investigations.”

Individualised care and support available to these victims includes: income support for living expenses; secure accommodation; access to medical treatment including through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; training such as English language and skills development courses; access to legal services; and social support.

“This initiative will help the recovery and rehabilitation of this highly vulnerable group of trafficking victims – most of whom are women. But it will also contribute to the apprehension and conviction of traffickers,” Senator Patterson said.

Senator Patterson said this was just one element of the $20 million package designed to help combat the repugnant trade of trafficking in people.

“The four-year package includes measures which will significantly enhance the detection, investigation and prosecution of traffickers, improve the range of support available to victims and help prevent trafficking of persons,” Senator Patterson said.