The highly successful Keeping It Together program must be saved, State Labor Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley said in Parliament yesterday.

Casey North Community Information and Support Service have been running the program for the past five years, providing much needed assistance to local families.

The facilitators of the program focus on prevention, in particular preventing family breakdowns and family violence.

Ms Graley said that the rising cost of living, budget cuts, job losses and uncertainty were putting families under greater pressure than ever before.

“Instances of family violence are skyrocketing and family breakdowns are not far behind, clearly local families are in need of assistance,”

“In the meantime families can and should access this outstanding program which has made a very real impact to the lives of women and their families within our local community.”

Ms Graley said that no one should be proud to live in a state where a woman dies at the hands of a partner or previous partner each and every week.

“This is a disgrace, no woman or their family should be forced to live in fear or be at the mercy of another,”

“That’s why, if elected, Labor will establish a Royal Commission into family violence, the first of its kind in Australia,”

“We can, and should act to ensure that family violence and family breakdowns become rare, not all too common as they are today,”

“I do hope that the Minister’s offer to sit down with the group to discuss funding is genuine and can be arranged as soon as possible, I will be monitoring this situation with great concern”

“We must ensure that this wonderful and life-changing program is provided with the funding it needs to continue its outstanding work in our community.”