Tweed Valley Women's service supporters outside of Tweed Shire Council chamber on Thursday. Russell Logan, Richmond MP Justine Elliot, Dr Hannah Thomas, Diane Ashmore (former chair of the committee and treasurer), Carolyn Hastie (former vice char), Janet Saunders (former staffer), Tamika Dumas (former client).
Tweed Valley Women's service supporters outside of Tweed Shire Council chamber on Thursday. Russell Logan, Richmond MP Justine Elliot, Dr Hannah Thomas, Diane Ashmore (former chair of the committee and treasurer), Carolyn Hastie (former vice char), Janet Saunders (former staffer), Tamika Dumas (former client). Alina Rylko

Council steps in on Tweed Valley Women’s Service debate

STRONG support for the Tweed Valley Women’s Service was felt at Tweed Council Chambers on Thursday when Mayor Katie Milne called for its funding to be restored.

TVWS was forced to shut down in December after its lead agency, On Track Community Programs, said it had breached its contract.

Psychologist Dr Hannah Thomas made an impassioned plea to councillors at the Community Access meeting to support the service on behalf of her former clients.

“For a woman to now obtain support, from (On Track’s) domestic and violence case workers she must be experiencing, or must be at risk of homelessness,” Ms Thomas said.

“Rosie Batty wasn’t homeless and she would have needed those services.”

Cr Milne was backed by Cr Gary Bagnall as she fought for her motion to write to the NSW Minister to immediately restore State Government funding to the TVWS.

“The TVWS headquarters at Murwillumbah was a well known, iconic place where women could walk in off the street to seek sanctuary and solace,” she said. “We need specialised women’s services.”

Cr Barry Longland successfully carried an amendment to the motion calling for an urgent workshop to explore submissions from all parties involved to “develop a more considered position to put to the council”.

“Your letter would have lead to a circular argument. I’ve come up with a motion that might have some punch to have this travesty reversed,” he said.

He also called on the mayor to write to Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard seeking an assurance that domestic violence services would be maintained to the same standard.



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