Now that Mike Baird has been re-elected he is moving forward with the first of his election promises. One such promise was to create a new ministry, and he has just appointed Pru Goward
as the first ever ‘Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Whilst some – most notably those on the payroll of the Domestic Violence Industry
– are saying that this is an appropriate policy response to the level of public concern about violent crime, others like myself are highly sceptical.
I am not embarrassed to admit that my first take on this move is that it is entirely motivated by a desire to be ‘seen to be doing something’, and that only the most hard-line feminist could seriously believe that it will make a significant difference in the ongoing quest to reduce the incidence of sexual/domestic violence.
So how about we take our foot off the ‘we spend because we care’ pedal, and pause a moment to ponder questions like:
What more can be achieved with a new minister/ministry, than could be achieved without making any such change? Is it really necessary in terms of delivering tangible benefits?
Using the same logic, why not create a Minister for Reducing Traffic Accidents or Minister for Finding a Cure for Cancer?
Will this new initiative help break down the current elevated level of gender bias which has seen both domestic violence and sexual assault portrayed as women’s problems with men as their root cause? Will, finally, some attention be given over to female perpetrators and their male victims?
How much will the creation of a new Ministry cost? Will it be cost-effective?
On that last point I can tell you that the costs of such a seemingly simple administrative change will be far greater than you would imagine. I would guesstimate this to be in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I think I can safely state that, barring an FOI request, you will NOT subsequently read about this impost in the media.
ear in mind, in particular, that each dollar spent (wasted) here is potentially one less dollar available to actually address the central issues of concern.
What then are some of these costs that are about to be incurred?
- Creation of new corporate logo
- Design and printing of business cards for all employees
- Design, production and installation of new building/office signage
- Production of new stationary, brochures and other printed material
- Production of new corporate gifts and products such as coffee mugs with logo, etc
- Updating of web site and any other online presence
- Employment of new staff/redeployment of existing staff/redundancies