KAP calls for more DV shelter options in Mackay area

May 11, 2022

KAP calls for more DV shelter options in Mackay area

May 11, 2022

KATTER’S Australian Party (KAP) candidate for Dawson, Ciaron Paterson, says a shortage of emergency housing for domestic violence victims is putting vulnerable individuals and families at risk in the Mackay area. 


Despite recent DV-related announcements including a $363 million package from State Labor, Mr Paterson believes the worsening economic situation, and poor accommodation choices in the region, are a recipe for a spike in DV incidents and more needs to be done for victims.  


Mr Paterson has identified the former Amart building in Mackay as a suitable site for a temporary shelter complex, but acknowledges getting the project off the ground would require all levels of government to work together. 


“I am encouraging governments of all stripes including the Mackay council to put their hands in their pockets.” 


Mr Paterson noted a substantial increase in domestic violence-related offences during the pandemic.  For example, breaches of domestic violence protection orders in Mackay spiked by almost 50% between 2020 and 2021, from around 700 to well over 1000 in the space of just two years.[1][1] 


Mr Paterson said the risk for individuals and families was growing daily with more cost of living pressures, and a lack of suitable accommodation for those contemplating fleeing dangerous home environments was compounding the problem. 


“We have one of the tightest rental markets in history and combine that with record with a shortage of public housing with waiting lists as long as both my arms, and you have a recipe for people staying in bad situations because they have no where else to go. 


Mr Paterson said the local council would gain widespread recognition for the Amart conversion, which would include a commercial-style kitchen, bedrooms and amenities for children. 


“I’ve spoken with a number of non-profits in the region who say we need this project tomorrow, so I know I’m on the right track. 


“All we need are for the stakeholders to come together to form a commitment.  If elected I will make this project a top priority for the KAP.”