Full steam ahead for women’s safety and justice reforms

Published Friday, 31 May, 2024 at 04:42 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • The Attorney-General has tabled the second annual report on the implementation of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce recommendations.
  • Responses to 95 per cent of all recommendations are either underway or complete.
  • From Report One – 36 of 89 recommendations have been delivered.
  • From Report Two – 36 of 188 recommendations have been delivered.
  • Fourth Bi-Annual Independent Implementation Supervisor progress report tabled.

The second annual report on Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce reforms has confirmed the Miles Labor Government is making significant headway, with responses to 95 per cent of all recommendations either underway or complete.

The significant progress means that more women are being protected from domestic, family and sexual violence, and more perpetrators are being held to account.

The Taskforce’s two Hear her voice reports made a combined 277 recommendations to bring about systemic, legislative and cultural change in responding to violence against women and children, and improving women’s and girls’ experiences in the criminal justice system.

The Second Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today, shows that the Miles Government has now delivered 36 of the 89 recommendations from the first Taskforce report, which addressed coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland.

This includes passage of landmark legislation, the Criminal Law (Coercive Control and Affirmative Consent) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024, which included amendments to criminalise coercive control and establish a model of affirmative consent.

Once commenced, the new standalone offence of coercive control will carry a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Work is also well progressed to implement 51 of the remaining 53 Report One recommendations.

From Report Two, which focused on sexual violence and women and girls’ experiences in the criminal justice system, 36 recommendations have now been delivered with a further 144 underway.

Among the Report Two achievements is the appointment of an interim Victims’ Commissioner, Mr Jon Rouse, and passage of legislation to establish a permanent Victims’ Commissioner and a Sexual Violence Review Board, and to decriminalise sex work.

Other key achievements from 2023-24 highlighted in the annual report include:

  • release of Queensland’s Plan for the Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women 2024-2028, which strengthens efforts to target the gendered drivers and underlying social context, to stop violence against women before it starts;
  • engaging the Queensland Council of Social Services to provide peak services to the domestic and family violence sector, while a peak body is established;
  • releasing the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence System Monitoring and Evaluation Framework;
  • two additional Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Courts commencing operations in Brisbane and Cairns.

The Women’s Safety and Justice Reform Second Annual report 2023-24 is available at: www.qld.gov.au/womenstaskforceresponseprogress

The fourth bi-annual progress report from the Independent Implementation Supervisor has also been tabled.

It discusses the Miles Government’s implementation progress of recommendations from Report One, Report Two and A Call for change: Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence.

The report outlines opportunities for improvement across four implementation themes: collaboration, communication, coverage, and consistency.

The progress report also provides detailed analyses of both the operations of the Domestic and Family Violence High Risk Team and the multi-agency service responses for sexual assault in Townsville.

The fourth report from the Independent Implementation Supervisor is available at: https://www.oiis.qld.gov.au/home/fourth-progress-report

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“Implementing major, whole-of-society reforms to criminalise coercive control, hold people using violence to account and improve the experiences of victim-survivors within the criminal justice system requires a long-term approach.

“While there is a long road ahead, the second annual report shows that the progress we are making is undeniable.

“The legislative changes we have introduced to create a specific offence of coercive control and introduce an affirmative model of consent are the most significant responses to domestic, family and sexual violence in Queensland’s history.

“We have strengthened the voice of victim-survivors, ensuring they inform our implementation efforts, including introducing the necessary legislative changes to establish a permanent Victims’ Commissioner.

“And, we have embarked on initiatives and strategies that are moving our state towards systemic, cultural change across the whole domestic, family and sexual violence system and criminal justice system.

“The Miles Government will continue to build on this momentum to end domestic, family and sexual violence.”