21/06/2012

Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) -- I have one question about the Department of Justice.

This is again about a very specific project, Project Respect, which is recognised as being the lead agency dealing with women who have been trafficked into Victoria. In its inquiry into people trafficking for sex work, the Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee came up with a set of recommendations, and part of that was a recognition of the need to support ongoing work in this area. Project Respect has lost all of its funding; it receives no state government funding. It is the lead agency that works with women who have been trafficked, yet it is getting absolutely no money. It is one of those projects that makes a huge difference to the lives of women, but it has been completely defunded.

Hon. G. K. RICH-PHILLIPS (Assistant Treasurer) -- I would say to Ms Hartland that decisions have had to be made in the context of the budgetary environment. I am not familiar with the particular project she is referring to.

Obviously that is a serious issue, but the government has had to make decisions in the context of the funding available within this department in terms of which areas it needs to pursue and which areas it cannot pursue at this point in time.

Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) -- Can I ask the minister to take that question on notice and seek an explanation as to why Project Respect has lost its funding and also whether this funding has gone to any other agency that is dealing with trafficked women?

Hon. G. K. RICH-PHILLIPS (Assistant Treasurer) -- If I can get some further details from Ms Hartland, I will be happy to follow that matter up.