After more than a year of waiting, a much-needed support service for women and children impacted by domestic violence is about to become operational.
Due to advocacy from the Douglas Shire Council (DSC), the Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG) has agreed to deliver the new Mossman service for an initial four-year, five-month term.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said he welcomed the announcement.
“The Safe Places refuge will enable women and children escaping domestic violence to seek help without leaving family support, jobs and school behind,” he said.
“For too long they’ve been forced to seek support outside of the shire.
“Council has been advocating for this service for several years and we are pleased the State Government has made this commitment.
“Domestic violence is a serious and unacceptable problem we all need to address.”
Councillor Abigail Noli said she was pleased with the announcement.
“This has been a long-term project that I have worked on since 2016 as a promise to the people of Douglas,” she said.
“I couldn’t be happier and I thank the State Government for this funding and assistance to Douglas.”
The service will operate out of the Safe Places shelter in Mossman. Council purchased and donated land to kickstart the project while it received a Department of Social Services grant to build the units.
DJAG will now seek tenders for the service and in a letter to Council, Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath said she “intends to have the service operational as soon as possible”.