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Question Time - Core and Cluster Program

I direct my question to the Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. When will details of successful projects under tranche 2 of the core and cluster women's refuge program be publicly announced so that people on the northern beaches and across the State can know what services and facilities will exist, and when, to meet the urgent needs of women and their children fleeing domestic and family violence?

MINISTER JODIE HARRISON RESPONSE: I thank the member for Wakehurst for his question, for his interest in issues relating to domestic violence and for supporting for women and children who are affected by domestic violence in his electorate. I know it is not a new interest. Last year I received correspondence from the member when he was mayor of Northern Beaches Council. He is quite passionate about this. Domestic and family violence is heartbreakingly present in communities across our State. The intersectionality of experiences of domestic and family violence with disability, culture, socio-economic status and a multitude of other factors results in some communities being disproportionately impacted by these crimes. But no community in this State is free from domestic violence, and the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney are no exception. The core and cluster model moves away from the traditional shared‑living style of accommodation. It offers more flexible, private and independent living spaces, giving more dignity to women and children and in some cases to their beloved pets.

Funding for the Core and Cluster Program has occurred over three tranches. Each has begun with an expression of interest [EOI] followed by a request for tender process. The tranche 3 EOI process will close on 25 July this year—so very soon. As many members in this place would be aware, the procurement of tranches 1 and 2 has been completed, resulting in 39 approved projects. I spoke to the member for Tamworth about that yesterday. Importantly, the core and cluster model is, by its very nature, a community place based approach to safety for women and children. The Department of Communities and Justice [DCJ] is currently working through the contract negotiations for the successful tranche 2 tenderers. At this stage contract negotiations for those 39 sites are in varying stages of completion. I look forward to sharing more information with local communities as those negotiations progress and are finalised. [Extension of time]

Having said that, I am very pleased to be able to share with the member for Wakehurst that one of the projects that was successful in receiving funding through tranche 2 of the core and cluster procurement will serve women and children on the northern beaches. Located in Mona Vale, the core and cluster is led by Women's Community Shelters. It is being done in partnership with Bridge Housing, which is a tier 1 community housing provider, which I am sure the member for Wakehurst is familiar with. I am advised by DCJ that building design and development application processes are currently underway and that capital works are planned for completion by December this year, with the expectation of service delivery to follow shortly thereafter.

I am pleased also to say that on completion it will offer four self-contained units for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, importantly with services and supports delivered by Women's Community Shelters. Again, I thank the member for Wakehurst for his interest in and commitment to services that quite literally save the lives of women and children in his electorate. I look forward to sharing more information about core and cluster sites as I am able to and as the contracts are finalised, along with the network of local community‑based supports and services available to women and children experiencing family and domestic violence across New South Wales communities.

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