Wednesday 16 September 2015
Hansard of the Legislative Council



Mr FINCH (Rosevears)- Mr Deputy President, I was not going to speak but a couple of things have sparked my interest.  I support the legislation - who would not?  As I was sitting there I was recalling something I saw on television earlier this week - it might have been on the Sunday evening news - when Tony Abbott made a reference to domestic violence.  Federally, domestic violence is very much in the focus, which is a good thing.  It is good that Tasmania is part of the debate and the search for solutions and ways forward.  To me, Tony Abbott nailed it when talking on domestic violence.  He said, 'If you hit a woman you are not a man .'  I remember as a young person growing up at Fern Tree, that was the ethos that you grew up with, but how times change.  Similarly, in an argument or a stoush with somebody, you would never kick them.  You would never use your feet.  It was always fisticuffs, but how times change.

I remember going to England and a fight started.  When someone hit the ground then it was in with the boots.  That was quite foreign to my own upbringing in the Tasmanian masculine circles in which I moved.  That was the message that came through to men:  you do not hit women.  Times have changed.  Life pressures are stronger on people as well.  Men do not seem to be able to cope as well as perhaps they did in the Victorian times.  There is now that lashing out because of life pressures.  I do not want to excuse the circumstances under which it occurs, but certainly life pressures are a factor that can cause people to actually hit out.

I thought that the then prime minister was making a very salient point.  Is 'denigration' the right word for men who might take that course and be violent in their reactions to the way life is dealing with them?  He said it is a very serious issue.  The home should be a place of safety but tragically it can become a place of persecution.  Of course he was hoping to be able to speak more on it this week but events have changed.  The point is that I searched for that quote because I wanted to refer to it.  I see that The Guardian in its online section has quite a coverage of this domestic violence issue that is occurring nationally.  For instance, in related content Labor urges Malcolm Turnbull to keep domestic violence a top priority.  Let us hope that is the case.  I am sure the Opposition is going to keep the Government up to the mark on that situation.

Also, there are some comments there from the former prime minister.  Interestingly, one of the articles here is about a national domestic violence order scheme to come within 12 months.  I do not think there has been a reference to that in our presentations here today, but it was interesting to read:  'Orders in each state and territory would be recognised in all the others, premiers say, but service providers warn governments must also deliver funding certainty.'  In a comment on that there was an explanation of the difficulty of trying to get all of the jurisdictions to adopt that one framework.  In a complex Federation you cannot underestimate the logistical difficulties of making these kinds of changes.  At least Australia is focused on it, Tasmania is focused on it and we here today are focused on it. 
I wholeheartedly support the legislation.