EXCLUSIVE: The murders of Queensland mother Hannah Clarke and her three children have prompted a new push from women in federal parliament.
The murders of Queensland mother Hannah Clarke and her three children have prompted a new push from women in federal parliament.
Independent MPs Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie have teamed up to call on the government for stronger deterrence measures and increased funding for domestic violence support services.
They told 9News they believed the need was even more urgent in the wake of Australia's horror bushfire season – as research shows family violence spikes after natural disasters.
Ms Sharkie – the member for Mayo in South Australia – said she feared for women in her own electorate, which was affected by bushfires on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills.
"I'm quite concerned we may see a spike in the need for services and support, a spike in violence towards women," she said.
"I'd like to think the governments, state and federal, can be on the front foot with that issue and put those resources in now."
Ms Steggall – a former barrister specialising in family law – said women's shelters in her Sydney electorate of Warringah were an example of how such services needed greater funding.
"They are limited in their capacity and services they can offer," she said.
"I think we need to review where there are shortcomings in funding - what organisations are asking and saying they need more funding?"
The two crossbenchers are also calling for stronger anti-violence campaigns at major events, such as sports games.
Tasmanian independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has also weighed in, telling 9News the government needed to provide more funding for women's shelters.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told parliament this week Australia's fourth national action plan to reduce family violence would be discussed by federal, state and territory governments at an upcoming Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.
"A record $340 million is being provided under this plan for frontline services to protect women and children," he said.
Senator Lambie told 9News she feared the money would be "wasted up the top before it gets down to the bottom".
"You're only going to make achievements if that money is well targeted and goes where it needs to go," she said.
Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
*Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
*MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.
*Multicultural Mental Health Australia www.mmha.org.au
National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/domestic-violence-hannah-clarke-vigil-mps-call-for-government-action/58a4ead3-9f8b-4def-8259-15a98e9e46d4