ARARAT and Stawell could be waiting until 2021 to get access to the state government’s new family violence safety hubs.
The 2016-17 Victorian budget committed $448 million to building the new hubs, designed to assist people who had experienced family violence, as part of a flagship $1.9 billion package to tackle the issue.
The government revealed the concept plan for the safety hubs on Wednesday, which indicated that this year’s focus would be on establishing safety hubs in ‘launch’ regions.
Central Highlands and Western District were not included in the list of launch regions.
Having missed out on the first round, the earliest Ararat and Stawell could see significant progress towards a family violence hub is 2019, according to the government’s family violence rolling action plan.
Between three to five regional safety hubs will be added each year, leading to planned statewide coverage in 2021 with each Human Services administrative region to receive one safety hub.
The rate of family violence incidents recorded by police in Ararat Rural City Council and Northern Grampians Shire have been increasing since 2012.
Ararat and Northern Grampians both saw more than 2000 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2016.
Fairfax Media asked Special Minister for State Gavin Jennings what kind of criteria had been used to select the launch regions.
Mr Jennings’ office pointed to documentation on the selection process.
The regions were chosen for a number of reasons including the demand for family violence services, the mix of existing services in the area and the need to have launch sites across urban, suburban, peri-urban, regional and rural areas, according the government.