Opposition to target family violence if elected
THE LABOR Party will hold a Royal Commission into family violence if it is successful at the state election.
Opposition leader Daniel Andrews announced the pledge at Saturday’s party conference in Melbourne.
The Bendigo Advertiser has campaigned for the Annie North women’s refuge to be built after lengthy government delays.
Mr Andrews told the conference everyone in room knew a victim, and knew them well.
“I am heartened by the many campaigns that have brought awareness to it,” he said.
“But these campaigns have told us something else as well.
“Awareness means little if the system is broken.
"And our system is.”
Mr Andrews said 15 people known to the Department of Human Services had died this year.
He said he was particularly disturbed by the death of Luke Batty, who was killed by his father at cricket training.
"I’ll never forget how I felt, on that routine weekday evening, when I heard what had happened on a suburban cricket ground to an ordinary boy who loved his mum and loved his dad," Mr Andrews said.
"When I got home that night, I wanted to wake up my kids and hold them close.
"Nothing is more honest than the loyalty of a child.
"And nothing hurts more than its betrayal."
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the Royal Commission was long overdue.
"If we win government in November it will start in 2015 and be completed by the end of 2015," she said.
"Victorian Labor will implement its recommendations.
"Victorian Labor is taking leadership on this issue in which the Liberal National government has failed so miserably to invest in the resource needed to address family violence.
"It will start what we hope will be a way to address this issue that has become critical and is impacting on our community."
Ms Edwards would not commit to implementing all of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission.