Peel domestic violence refuge opening date unclear, 15 months after government commitment

The state government has reiterated it will establish a second domestic violence refuge in Peel, 15 months after the initial announcement - but the opening date and location of the much-needed facility are unclear.

The Mandurah Mail highlighted last week the growing demand for more services after the head of Peel's only refuge revealed more than 140 victims have been turned away from the facility in the last six months.

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Mandurah MP David Templeman announced in May 2017 the state government would establish a new women's refuge in Peel.

At the time, Mr Templeman had told the Mail the Peel region was in desperate need of more services.

"WA Labor in the lead up to the election recognised the increasing rates of domestic violence and the terrible effect it is having on local families," he said.

"That's why we committed to the construction of a women's refuge in the Peel region to better address the increase and diversity of families seeking assistance.

"This is a priority for the government and the scope of this project is being developed and will be delivered as soon as practicable."

We desperately need a new refuge.

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup

However, more than a year on, the Peel region is still waiting for a new refuge, which Pat Thomas House refuge chief executive Jill Robinson said was "disappointing".

"Although the state government promised a new refuge, we are yet to hear anything, which is disappointing given the desperate need," she said.

It was an election commitment through our Plan for Peel and it is expected to be delivered in this term of government.

Mandurah MP David Templeman

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup said the Labor government had stalled and "forgotten Mandurah exists".

"We desperately need a new refuge - Mandurah deserves better," he said.

"I will be taking this up directly with the (Domestic Violence) Minister (Simone McGurk) on Thursday in Parliament - it simply isn't good enough."

Mr Templeman this week said the process to establish the facility was underway.

"It was an election commitment through our Plan for Peel and it is expected to be delivered in this term of government," he said.

Details of final costings and the scope of the project are still to be finalised.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk said the government announced earlier this year they would establish and operate a new women's refuge in the Peel region.

However, a ministerial spokeswoman would not clarify where the facility would be located and when it would be established.

"Factors considered in choosing sites include anticipated demand and proximity to other community services, as well as existing family and domestic violence services," she said.

Are you experiencing domestic violence? Call police on 000 in an emergency or 131 444 to report an incident. For counselling or support services call the free 24 hour Women's Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 007 339.

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