Former Australian of the Year Rosie Battie has backed planned changes to WA tenancy laws, that will aim to assist victims of family domestic violence.
Ms Battie gave the endorsement in Kalgoorlie for the laws that will protect victims bound by tenancy agreements who are also affected by violence in their home.
The laws will enable renters affected by domestic violence to exit a tenancy agreement within seven days to leave for safety.
It will also enable application to a court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a lease, allow security changes to a rental home, sort out disputes involving property including damage or unpaid rent or seek removal or avoid being on a tenancy database if a listing is due to domestic violence.
Ms Batty is a domestic violence campaigner since her son Luke was murdered by his father.
She was presented with a reproduction of commissioned artwork “Freedom to Fly” by indigenous artist Barbara Bynder, symbolising how the law changes help renters affected by family domestic violence.
Ms Batty is in Kalgoorlie for an International Women’s Day event, meeting with Consumer Protection Senior Regional Officer Mark Ing, who is working with the Goldfields Women’s Health Care Centre to prepare community workers for the new tenancy laws.
“One of the most important things of FDV (family domestic violence) is to know they are going to be believed and that their path forward is certain,” Ms Batty said.
“This legislation delivers just that. It is victim-focussed, giving the tenant the choice of whether to stay or to leave.”
Mr Ing said family domestic violence victims were now safer.
“The Bill, passed last month, has been years in the making,” he said.
“It is finally becoming a reality.”