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Sex-Assault Fund Pledge
THE Tasmanian Liberals say they will double the funding for the
Hobart Sexual Assault Service.
Deputy leader Will Hodgman said the service had been severely
underfunded and sexual-assault victims faced unacceptable delays for counselling services.
Under the Liberal funding pledge, the service would get $450,000 extra a year for the next four years.
Mr Hodgman also said the State Government had been sitting on a KPMG
report into statewide sexual-assault needs and called for its release.
He said if Labor failed to release it, a Liberal government would make the
review public and implement appropriate recommendations arising from it.
Mr Hodgman said demand for the sexual-assault service had
per cent in two years and the Labor Government had refused pleas for more funds.
He said the Liberal plan would fund two extra part-time children's counsellors,
a specialist adolescent counsellor, a male counsellor (the service has no male counsellor),
an additional 30 hours a fortnight for the after-hours crisis service, a doctor to perform forensic
medical examinations and a full-time co-ordinator for community education/prevention.
Hobart Sexual Assault Support Service chief executive Karen Jones said one in four children
in Tasmania were sexually abused and one-third of all women in Tasmania would have been
sexually assaulted by the time they turned 18, together with one-sixth of all men.
Meanwhile, child-protection workers gathered yesterday to protest at Parliament House
Lawns in Hobart.
The rally called for the Government to put on 200 extra permanent staff.
Organisers said the rally aimed to highlight the fact that 3000 Tasmanian children with
serious abuse problems were not able to access services because of staff shortages.
The Sunday Tasmanian (5-3-2006)
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