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Together with ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), Financial Rights Legal Centre (FRLC), Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (Good Shepherd) and QLD Council of Social Service (QCOSS), PIAC made a submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) Consultation Paper Protecting Customers Affected by Family Violence.
The rule change request by Red/Lumo Energy opens up a very welcome discussion about the abuse perpetrated through energy services, the needs of victim-survivors when using energy and dealing with energy retailers, and the role of retailers in proactively preventing and responding to domestic and family violence (DFV) and supporting victim-survivor recovery. However, the proposed rule is inadequate as it stands.
In this submission we discuss key areas of support, major deficiencies and recommended improvements, including in relation to the need for minimum standards in family violence policies and regulatory approval and oversight of these policies; preventing victim-survivors having to provide evidence of DFV as a precondition of support; and requiring best practice, whole-of-business training in DFV for successful implementation of the proposed rule and family violence policies, and to support victim-survivor safety and wellbeing.