MEDIA RELEASE: Baird refuses to commit to supporting domestic violence leave at COAG

Premier Mike Baird has failed to commit to supporting the inclusion of paid domestic violence (DV) leave in the National Employment Standards at the upcoming COAG meeting.

While taking credit for Labor's implementation of paid domestic violence leave across the state's public service, the Premier would not commit to raising the issue at the forthcoming COAG meeting.

At a rally outside Parliament House earlier in the day Opposition Leader Luke Foley committed a future Labor Government to doubling paid domestic violence leave and undertook to seek a commitment from the Premier to support the inclusion of paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards at COAG.

The Premier said he had discussed the issue with the Queensland and Victorian Labor Premiers and understood they would be leading on the issue, but refused to promise to support their move.

Mr Baird also betrayed a disturbing lack of understanding of the causes of domestic violence, referring to perpetrator behaviour change programs as "anger management".

This morning at a breakfast in Sydney 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty spoke of the need for women to have access to paid domestic violence leave to ensure they could leave violent relationships.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

"The Premier has missed an opportunity to provide real leadership on this issue.

“Last year in Australia 80 women were killed as a result of domestic violence incidents; we can and should do more to help women fleeing violence in the home.

“The inclusion of paid DV leave in the National Employment Standards can save lives.

“I appeal to Mr Baird to reconsider and to put DV leave on the agenda at COAG so that bipartisan support can make it a reality for women and families suffering domestic and family violence.”

Quotes from Shadow Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jenny Aitchison

“It is disturbing to see the Premier miss an important opportunity to provide support to victims of domestic and family violence through advocating for the inclusion of paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.

“While Labor supports programs to stop perpetrators from committing domestic violence, more must be done to help those who are escaping domestic violence.

“Financial stability is vital for helping victims rebuild their lives. Without paid domestic violence leave women and their children are vulnerable to poverty, and may be forced back to violent homes.”

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