Central Coast Council did not apply for a Federal Government grant to fight domestic violence (DV) despite being directed by the councillors to do so.
The councillors voted in December 2019 that “Council apply or partner with stakeholders for a Federal Government grant to provide new or expanded emergency accommodation for victims on the Central Coast by the closing date of 14 February 2020”.
In a report back to the councillors, the staff said discussions were held with local community housing providers, accommodation services and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.
“Through the course of these meetings it emerged that there are significant complexities associated with the grant which would prevent them or Council from applying,” the report said.
Council could not apply independently as it was not able to meet all the requirements/criteria of the grant.
Only applications that offered additional places for women and children were to be considered, but Council had no additional funding for service delivery available.
The report said successful applicants were required to enter into agreements with the Australian Government for 15 years but existing contracts for Specialist Homelessness Services were for a shorter duration.
“Based on the information above, Council officers did not submit an application for funding,” the report said.
The matter was not debated when the report was tabled at the May 11 meeting.
The report went on to list the initiatives that Council has undertaken to support women and children in the past 12 months, including the development of its own Family and Domestic Violence Policy which aims to support employees experiencing family or domestic violence to continue to participate in the workplace.
Council is one of more than 20 local organisations that are members of the Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee (CCDVC) which meets monthly.
Agenda Item 4.12
Central Coast Council meeting, May 11