The Great Lakes Womens Shelter is 1 of 40 projects for women and children escaping domestic violence which will be built across the country thanks to the NSW Nationals in the federal government’s $60 million Safe Places initiative for new and expanded emergency accommodation.

Federal NSW Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said this was an important investment to improve access to suitable accommodation for women and their children across the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Womens Shelter will use the funding to build one six-bedroom group dwelling and two two-bedroom self-contained villas, doubling the number of places currently available.

“Sadly, we know that home is not safe for many women and children, and family and domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children,” Dr Gillespie said.

“This will not only ensure women and children have somewhere safe to sleep but will also provide access to specialist family and domestic violence services to help create real and lasting change in their lives.”

Great Lakes Womens Shelter President Julie Brady welcomed the funding and said it will provide longer term, self-contained emergency accommodation which will give women and their children increased stability.

“When women make the decision to leave it is vital that they have somewhere safe to go and Great Lakes Womens Shelter will be there to assist providing support and enhancing life skills and the opportunity for a new start in life,” Ms Brady said.

“This long-term vision is becoming a reality with joint contributions from federal, state and local government, and through community support and private philanthropy.”

The $60 million Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program is part of the $78 million funding package which includes $18 million to continue the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes initiative.

This funding is part of the $340 million Australian Government investment in the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.