Royal commission could turn into a 'lawyers' picnic'

ON TOPIC: Minister for Health David Davis during Tuesday's press conference. Picture: LEIGH SHARP

ON TOPIC: Minister for Health David Davis during Tuesday's press conference. Picture: LEIGH SHARP

VIDEO: David Davis talks about the proposed royal commission.

A ROYAL Commission into family violence would divert resources from providing on-the-ground support, says Health Minister David Davis.

Mr Davis said it could also pave the way for a "lawyers' picnic".

"We would actually run the risk of seeing tens of millions of dollars squandered on lawyers and barristers who are talking and appearing before a Royal Commission when much of what we know needs to be done just needs to be got on with," he said.

Mr Davis' comments come after a call from Annie North Women's refuge chief executive Julie Oberin for the state government to follow the Victorian Labor Party’s lead and put its support behind a Royal Commission, “using some of their forecast surplus to fund it”.

Ms Oberin said all levels of government and the community needed to understand that with raised awareness of the issue,  “more and more women are seeking help from services and challenging controlling and manipulative behaviour from their abusers’’.

Mr Davis spoke about the issue during a press conference at the new Bendigo Hospital site on Tuesday.

"I am across this issue and I saw the announcements that were made by the leader of the opposition on the weekend," he said.

"Clearly domestic violence is a very serious and important issue for our community.

"The Premier (Denis Napthine) and Minister (Mary) Wooldridge have had quite a bit to say on this and I'll leave the detail of what was said for them to talk about.

"But we have a very strong commitment to preventing family violence.

"That is why funding has been increased year on year - both justice funding, health funding, and human services funding - to make sure that there's sufficient resources here ... There are significant programs which are having an effect and are being expanded and strengthened."

Meanwhile, Annie North has been sitting on plans for a new cluster model women's refuge, for which the state government has had land put aside in Bendigo for three years, but is still waiting on funding.

David Davis

David Davis

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