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Australia Clarke family murders prompt new push from women MPs

10:35  27 february  2020
10:35  27 february  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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Melbourne family return home after being stranded in Japan with coronavirus while onboard cruise ship Diamo Law student Bianca D'Silva, 21, was the first member of the family to be diagnosed with coronavirus on February 5, forcing Clarke family murders prompt new push from women MPs .

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The murders of Queensland mother Hannah Clarke and her three children have prompted a new push from women in federal parliament.

Independent MPs Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie have teamed up to call on the government for stronger deterrence measures and increased funding for domestic violence support services.

They told 9News they believed the need was even more urgent in the wake of Australia's horror bushfire season – as research shows family violence spikes after natural disasters.

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Nor was Clarke intimidated by the Chief Whips’ office, where countless MPs caught misbehaving have been subjected to humiliating dressing-downs. McLoughlin told him: ‘We have asked you here because we have heard very negative reports about you from your local constituency.

Anthony Albanese et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Members of Parliament put politics aside to hold a vigil for murdered mother Hannah Clarke and her children. © 9News Members of Parliament put politics aside to hold a vigil for murdered mother Hannah Clarke and her children.

Ms Sharkie – the member for Mayo in South Australia – said she feared for women in her own electorate, which was affected by bushfires on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills.

"I'm quite concerned we may see a spike in the need for services and support, a spike in violence towards women," she said.

"I'd like to think the governments, state and federal, can be on the front foot with that issue and put those resources in now."

a group of people posing for the camera: Hannah Clarke and her children were doused in petrol and set alight by her estranged husband. © 9News Hannah Clarke and her children were doused in petrol and set alight by her estranged husband.

Ms Steggall – a former barrister specialising in family law – said women's shelters in her Sydney electorate of Warringah were an example of how such services needed greater funding.

Deep dark history of violence

  Deep dark history of violence A female relative of Hannah Clarke's estranged husband has spoken about his history of violence and how she feared for her own life.The 31-year-old suffered 97 per cent burns to her body after Rowan Baxter doused her and her car with petrol before setting the vehicle alight on Wednesday.

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"They are limited in their capacity and services they can offer," she said.

"I think we need to review where there are shortcomings in funding - what organisations are asking and saying they need more funding?"

Rebekha Sharkie et al. posing for the camera: Independent MPs Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie are calling for the government to do more to protect victims of domestic violence, in an interview with political reporter Fiona Willan. Independent MPs Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie are calling for the government to do more to protect victims of domestic violence, in an interview with political reporter Fiona Willan.

The two crossbenchers are also calling for stronger anti-violence campaigns at major events, such as sports games.

Tasmanian independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has also weighed in, telling 9News the government needed to provide more funding for women's shelters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told parliament this week Australia's fourth national action plan to reduce family violence would be discussed by federal, state and territory governments at an upcoming Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

Family murder frustrating, devastating: PM

  Family murder frustrating, devastating: PM Australia's leaders say lessons must be learnt from the murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children, with Scott Morrison saying the system had failed them.All of Australia's governments and the judiciary must reflect on how systems failed to protect Hannah Clarke and her children, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared.

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a woman standing on a sidewalk: Independent MP Zali Steggall says more needs to be done. © AAP Independent MP Zali Steggall says more needs to be done.

"A record $340 million is being provided under this plan for frontline services to protect women and children," he said.

Senator Lambie told 9News she feared the money would be "wasted up the top before it gets down to the bottom".

"You're only going to make achievements if that money is well targeted and goes where it needs to go," she said.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

*Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

*MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

*Multicultural Mental Health Australia www.mmha.org.au

National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).

Mourners to 'March 4 Hannah' across Australia today .
Vigils for murdered Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three children will be held at state parliaments across the nation today as campaigners call for more action from governments in the fight against domestic violence. Vigils for murdered Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three children will be held at state parliaments across the nation today as campaigners call for more action from governments in the fi Communities will unite to "March 4 Hannah" to honour the family and call for reforms to the family law system.

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