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The NSW Nationals in Government have boosted critical support services for thousands of domestic violence victim-survivors with the funding of 39 new refuges across the state.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said he’d been fighting hard to ensure our community would benefit from this funding and it was great to see that Tamworth Gunnedah would both receive new refuges.

“We know that there is a shortage of accommodation for victim-survivors fleeing domestic violence and these new homes will significantly improve the capacity to provide safe, private, and independent living spaces for women and children,” Mr Anderson said.

“We have no tolerance for domestic violence, but until we can remove this scourge from society, we need to provide the accommodation and support services to help victims get back on their feet.

“Over the past year, we have provided new homes in both Tamworth and Gunnedah, and this new Core and Cluster domestic model will further build on our commitment to drastically improve services and support in the Tamworth electorate.

“Thank you to Tamworth Family Support Services, Housing Plus and Gunida Gunya Aboriginal Corporation who have been working hard to achieve this goal.”

Minister for Women's Safety and the Prevention of Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the new refuges delivered under the NSW Government’s Core and Cluster program follows trials in Orange and Griffith.

“These 39 new refuges will be designed in the new Core and Cluster model which is an innovative model that provides independent living and access to critical services such as counselling, legal assistance and further education,” Mrs Ward said.

“Additionally, we have doubled funding for capacity building projects, from $2.2 million to $4.4 million, to support service providers in the delivery of focused and culturally sensitive domestic and family violence services.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor says 20 of the 39 new refuges will be in regional NSW.

“The locations of the Core and Cluster refuges will be in areas where there is high unmet demand for services, including regional and rural areas, and will support 2,900 more women and children each year who have escaped domestic abuse,” Mrs Taylor said.

“In 2020-21, almost 40 per cent of the people who accessed specialist homelessness services in NSW, across our cities, regional and rural communities, had experienced domestic abuse.

“I commend organisations such as the Country Women’s Association of NSW and Domestic Violence NSW for their strong advocacy in keeping these issues in focus and ensuring the needs of regional NSW are front and centre,” Mrs Taylor said.

Gunida Gunya Aboriginal Corporation CEO Jane Bender said the organisation had been fighting hard to fill a gap in services in the community.

“We are so grateful that as a community-based organization, we will be able to meet the needs of the community,” she said.

“This will provide a safe and secure environment, and also support for kids and families to ensure they are looked after.”

Tamworth Family Support Services CEO Belinda Kotris said the organization was excited to be progressing with the Core and Cluster model.

“Tamworth Family Support Services is very excited to be working alongside Housing Plus to bring the Tamworth Core and Cluster to life,” she said.

“The support from the whole community has been overwhelming.”

The NSW Nationals in Government announced $484.3 million in October 2021 to establish new Women’s Refuges in NSW.

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