The issues highlighted in Fair Agenda’s scorecard have been set in line with priorities set by Fair Agenda members.
Who did the scoring? (click to view)
The scores in each category have been developed in consultation with policy experts.
The survey questions and scores on family violence policy have been developed in consultation with: Domestic Violence NSW, Domestic Violence Victoria, Women’s Legal Services Australia, National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum, National Association of Community Legal Centres and No To Violence/Men’s Referral Service.
The survey questions and scores on parental leave and policies for economic equality have been developed in consultation with the National Foundation for Australian Women and other relevant experts.The survey questions and scores on reproductive rights have been developed in consultation with Reproductive Choice Australia.
Who developed the questions? (click to view)
In our recent member survey Fair Agenda members nominated: addressing gendered violence, improving women's economic equality (including protecting parental leave) and protecting reproductive rights as priority issues for our community.
Therefore, in conjunction with Domestic Violence Victoria, Domestic Violence NSW, Women's Legal Services Australia, Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, National Association of Community Legal Centres, Reproductive Choice Australia, and the National Foundation for Australian Women; Fair Agenda developed a survey to clarify the parties' stances in key relevant policy areas in all of these areas.
What were the questions? (click to view)
The issues highlighted in Fair Agenda’s scorecard have been set in line with priorities set by Fair Agenda members. The Fair Agenda community is deeply concerned about addressing family violence and women's economic inequality (including protecting parental leave); as well as protecting reproductive rights.
These are therefore the focuses of Fair Agenda's election survey and scorecard.
The questions about family violence (click to view)
Funding for services
These questions are being asked in partnership with a number of domestic violence specialists, including Domestic Violence NSW, Domestic Violence Victoria, Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, Women's Legal Services Australia and No To Violence.Q1. Inadequate and unpredictable funding for family and domestic violence services limits the capacity of specialist agencies to respond to the urgent and ongoing needs of those affected. Would your party support the implementation of guaranteed, long-term funding for family violence services, delivered through a dedicated Commonwealth funding stream?
Q2. Would your Party commit the additional federal funding needed for family and domestic violence related services to meet unmet demand – estimated at $2 billion annually?
Q3. The Family Violence Prevention Legal Services provide specialist and culturally safe services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but are currently limited to just 14 locations. Would your Party provide the funding needed to ensure national coverage -- estimated at an additional $28 million annually?
Q4. Community Legal Centres provide vital free legal advice to people experiencing family violence. The top two areas of work CLCs do nationally are family law and family violence related. Would your Party commit to reverse the scheduled $34.83 million cuts to CLCs between 2017-2020, and provide additional funding?
Q5. Would your Party provide additional federal funding to expand perpetrator responses and intervention such as men’s behaviour change programs, estimated by No To Violence to require an additional $37 million of federal funding annually?
Q6. Our Watch is the National Foundation for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and their Children. It oversees and leads the implementation of the national strategy to prevent violence against women. Does your Party support the provision of long term, core funding of Our Watch of $5 million annually until at least 2022 (the final year of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children)?
Q7. Would your Party support investment to build the capacity of practitioners in community groups, government, organisations and key sectors to ensure they have expertise in the prevention of violence, and are able to expand the reach of current primary prevention activities?
Policies to improve the safety of women and children in the family law system
The Women’s Legal Service Australia, in partnership with Rosie Batty, recently launched their ‘Safety First in family law’ proposal, outlining the policy changes needed to keep women and children affected by family violence safe in the family law system. This section of the survey deals with your party’s position on key policies from that proposal.
Q1. Would your Party implement a policy to place domestic violence specialists in family court registries to undertake risk assessments at the very earliest stages of a case and provide recommendations on interim care arrangements for children?
Q2. Would your party amend the Family Law Act 1975 to introduce legislative protections to stop a victim being directly cross-examined by their abuser?
Q3. In 2012 a Co-Ordinated Family Dispute Resolution pilot which incorporated specialist domestic violence lawyers and social workers into the Family Court system was tested in a number of locations, and was highly successful at ensuring the best interests of children were met in matters.
Would your Party roll out this mediation model nationally?
Q4. Right now family violence is not legislated as a relevant consideration when the Family Court determines a property settlement. In 2001 The Family Law Council advised the Attorney-General to amend the Family Law Act 1975 to require courts to consider family violence when determining a property division. Would your party implement this recommendation?
Q5. Family Report Writers are professionals (such as a social workers or psychologists) who are responsible for preparing reports to the Family Court on matters related to children's best interests. These reports are often very influential in Court decisions, and can have dangerous implications if they do not recognise or take into account family abuse or violence.
Would your party establish a national accreditation and monitoring scheme for all family report writers; with mandatory training on domestic violence, cultural competency and working with victims of trauma?
The questions about paid parental leave (click to view)
Paid parental leave
Q1. The World Health Organisation recommends that the minimum period of exclusive care for optimal maternal and infant health outcomes is 26 weeks. The current paid parental leave system was introduced in line with recommendations from the Productivity Commission and allows an eligible parent to top up the minimum government provided leave (of 18 weeks at the minimum wage) with additional leave they have negotiated into their employment arrangements.
It has recently been proposed that cuts be made to this paid parental leave system, reducing the amount of government provided leave available to a new parent if their employer also provides paid parental leave. Would your party vote to protect the current paid parental leave system?
Q2. The Senate Standing Committee on Economics recently recommended that the superannuation guarantee* should be paid on the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave system. Would you support this change?
*The Superannuation Guarantee requires employers to contribute a percentage of an employee's earnings into a superannuation fund.
The questions about other policies for economic equality (click to view)
Q1. On average women retire with approximately half the level of retirement savings of men.
The Senate Standing Committee on Economics recently recommended that the concessional superannuation contributions of lower income earners not be taxed at a higher rate than their ordinary income, through the retention of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution beyond June 2017. Do you support the retention of the LISC or similar mechanism?
Q2. The Senate Standing Committee on Economics recently recommended that the Australian Government amend the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to remove the exemption from paying the superannuation guarantee in respect of employees whose salary or wages are less than $450 in a calendar month.
Would your Party support removing that exemption?
Q3. Will your Party invest in measures to support women's participation in traditionally male dominated industries?
Q4. Early Childhood Australia say that two days per week is the minimum amount of time children need in early childhood education for early learning benefits.
The Parenthood are calling for a minimum of 2 days of childcare subsidy to be available for every child aged 0 - 5 (at the current rate or more), regardless of parents' working circumstances. Would you support this policy?
Q5. Would your Party support removing or reducing entitlements to Family Tax Benefit Part B from single parents when their youngest child turns 13?
The questions about reproductive rights (click to view)
Q2. If your party has a unified position, does it recognise a woman's legal right to decide whether to continue or terminate her pregnancy?
Q3. The Federal Parliament has the power to make changes to Medicare. Currently there is a small medicare rebate for surgical termination of pregnancy. Would your party support any restrictions on access to Medicare rebates for services related to pregnancy termination?
Q4. Right now there is no medical rebate specifically for pregnancy options counselling or medical termination of pregnancy. Nor is there a rebate for sexual or reproductive health consultations aimed at educating patients about safe sex practices and contraception.
Would your party support the creation of new Medicare item numbers to cover; pregnancy options counselling by medical practitioners or suitably trained nurses, medical termination of pregnancy, or a sexual and reproductive health education consultation rebate?
How were scores calculated? (click to view)
Scores in each category were awarded against each of the survey questions; and agreed in consultation with partners with relevant policy expertise.
To view the detailed point system used in each issue area, please visit the detailed breakdown on the issues page here.
Why are only some parties in the scorecard? (click to view)
The scorecard displays the parties who responded to Fair Agenda's election survey.
The survey was also sent to:
- Senator Ricky Muir and the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
- Senator John Madigan and the Australian Manufacturing and Farming Party
- The Palmer United Party
- Family First
- Liberal Democrats
- One Nation
- Derryn Hinch's Justice Party
Responses were not received from these parties.
Where can I see the parties' responses (click to view)
The responses submitted in response to Fair Agenda's election survey are available by clicking on the links below: