Western Queensland will for the first time have a locally-based crisis shelter for domestic violence victims.
Western Queensland will for the first time have a locally-based crisis shelter for domestic violence victims. Contributed

Roma to provide shelter for victims of domestic violence

FOR the first time, victims of domestic violence will be able to seek shelter in Western Queensland.

The responsible Minister Shannon Fentiman announced in Roma this morning the construction of a new domestic violence shelter in the town. It will cost $5.04 million to construct and run.

Previously, victims had been routinely sent as far as Ipswich to find crisis accomodation, which often took several days to organise. The Roma shelter will be the first in Western Queensland.

It will be the Palaszczuk Government's fourth emergency accommodation shelter to assist women and children fleeing domestic and family violence in Queensland, and second in a rural area behind Charters Towers.

"When women make the brave decision to leave a violent relationship, we must ensure we have the support and services there to help - and regional Queensland is no exception," Ms Fentiman said.

"The new service in Roma and the surrounding region will provide women and children with a place of safety and assist them to secure longer term accommodation, including social housing and private rentals to help them re-establish themselves in the community.

"Tackling domestic and family violence is one of our highest priorities and this is why we are continuing to open these vital new services across the state."

Ms Fentiman said shelters are a crucial part of the service system response to domestic and family violence, not only for those in Roma but for the surrounding townships of Cunnamulla, St George and Charleville.

"We know that the availability of crisis accommodation is critical to a woman's decision to leave a violent relationship," Ms Fentiman said.

"We have listened to the concerns of the local community and non-government organisations about the need for supported and safe accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence in Roma and the South West.

"A lack of access to emergency accommodation services in this region was also identified in the recent KPMG Audit of Domestic and Family Violence Services.

"Servicing this region will be challenging and we will work with the community and local services to find innovative ways to keep women and children safe.

"It will mean that local women and children won't have to travel to Toowoomba and Brisbane for a safe place to stay and for the support they need to leave a violent situation.

"We are committed to supporting victims to get their lives back on track and ensuring support is available to those who need it most."

The Palaszczuk Government will spend a record $198.2 million over five years to tackle domestic and family violence in Queensland, as announced in the 2016-17 State Budget.


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