Statement from Minister de Brenni on My Friends Place
As a White Ribbon Ambassador, I take domestic and family violence incredibly seriously and the safety of women and children always comes first in everything I do.
While I have no doubt that My Friends Place is operated on the best of intentions, it is not a recognised or approved domestic violence service.
It is not a registered boarding house provider nor is it operating a facility that meets the standards of an approved domestic violence shelter.
Registration as a boarding house operator or recognition and approval as a domestic and family violence service provider are both important requirements, because they ensure the safety and welfare of people seeking assistance.
Maintaining these standards makes sure that women and children are safe. I have talked with operators of My Friends Place about why the facility they are operating does not meet the standards of a specialist domestic violence shelter or a registered boarding house.
As a result of this and other matters that have come to my attention in recent days, I have today instructed my Department to launch an investigation into unregulated operations in the supported accommodation sector.
This investigation will examine safety and security, potential rent gouging of vulnerable people, misleading and deceptive conduct and most importantly the supervision and welfare of residents.
In regards to investigations already underway into My Friends Place I can confirm that all women who are living there are being offered safe and appropriate accommodation.
If any person has concerns, I encourage them to contact the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre on (07) 5532 9000 to access any immediate support they may require.
My colleague the Hon. Shannon Fentiman, as Queensland’s first ever Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, has been working tirelessly to lead our Government’s response to the Not Now, Not Ever Report into family violence.
We are investing significant funds into support services for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence on the Coast including more than $1 million for housing support services and an extra $3.2 million a year for counselling, support services and perpetrator programs.
To support this investment, the Palaszczuk Government has overseen the construction of 69 new homes on the Gold Cost this year alone. People escaping domestic and family violence are given top priority when allocating these homes.
Media Contact - Tristan Douglas 0447 164 197