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Attorney-General makes quiet visit to Bundaberg

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie visited Bundaberg yesterday to make several funding announcements and congratulate long serving JPs, but it was kept quiet after the minister faced intense media attention after the appointment of Chief Justice Tim Carmody.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie visited Bundaberg yesterday to make several funding announcements and congratulate long serving JPs, but it was kept quiet after the minister faced intense media attention after the appointment of Chief Justice Tim Carmody. Tom Huntley

A MASSIVE funding boost to help victims of domestic and sexual violence in Bundaberg has almost escaped unnoticed after the Attorney-General snuck into town to make the announcement.

Justice Minister Jarrod Bleijie arrived in Bundaberg yesterday to announce $75,000 of funding for a Phoenix House program, to tour the Tom Quinn Community Centre and congratulate long serving JPs.

But it was a visit many could have missed with his team keeping the visit under wraps after a week of intense media attention on the minister who has faced scrutiny over the appointment of new Chief Justice Tim Carmody.

A spokeswoman for Mr Bleijie last night confirmed the team had planned to announce the visit but chose not to in light of the recent controversy.

"We didn't want the event to be overshadowed," she said.

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett, who spent the day with the minister during his various engagements, said the visit had been in the pipeline for several weeks.

He said he was thrilled to be there for the funding announcement for the region which is known for having high domestic violence rates.

Salvation Army Tom Quinn Centre spokeswoman Janette Young said the attorney general had taken a half hour tour of the centre

"He received a warm welcome from the staff and manager at the centre," she said.

"We work closely with corrective services and saw it as appropriate that he came and toured the centre."

Mr Bleijie also attended the Bundaberg Court to recognise long serving JPs and congratulate Magistrate Deb Vasta on her achievements.

As well as Phoenix House funding, $25,000 was announced for Relationships Australia Queensland to develop web chat and online support to victims who are unable to engage counselling via telephone or face-to-face.

"Bundaberg's Phoenix House will receive $75,000 to train up to 25 Queensland-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community workers to enable them to provide counselling services to members of their communities," the minister said.

Topics:  bundaberg chief justice jarrod bleijie phoenix house



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