Palaszczuk Government drives domestic and family violence reforms
Published Monday, 15 August, 2016 at 01:31 PM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
Police will be able to act more quickly to protect women and children fleeing violence, while magistrates may issue Domestic Violence Orders for longer periods and must consider exercising their power to modify any existing family court orders to better protect children, as the Palaszczuk Government moves to toughen domestic violence laws.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the latest legislative amendments will deliver more tailored support to keep victims of violence safe and strengthen the police and justice response to domestic and family violence.
Ms Fentiman said the laws continued the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to acting on the recommendations of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland.
“Queensland has already witnessed nine deaths in 2016 as a result of this crisis facing our community,” Ms Fentiman said.
“These tragedies are totally unacceptable. They are a reminder that we must do more if we are to keep women and children in Queensland safe from domestic violence.”
Changes proposed by the Bill include:
- Simplify processes for police so they can provide enhanced protection immediately to victims and for the first time ever, children, through expanded Police Protection Notices;
- clarifying that the court may make a domestic violence order (DVO) when a victim has been threatened or has fears for their safety or wellbeing;
- provide for the future implementation of automatic recognition of DVOs across Australia under a National Domestic Violence Order Scheme;
- courts will be required to consider if more tailored conditions need to be included in a DVO;
- protection orders will remain in place for a minimum of five years unless the court is satisfied there are reasons for a shorter order being made;
- courts will be required to consider any family law orders when making a DVO to minimise inconsistency between the orders and may use their powers to modify family law orders if necessary; and
- a comprehensive information sharing framework to ensure that agencies providing specialist domestic and family violence services and prescribed entities can share information appropriately with each other to assess and manage risk.
Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government is determined to ensure victims can be protected more quickly.
“This will simplify processes faced by police so they can issue more immediate Police Protection Notices for women and children fleeing violence,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Importantly, these amendments will allow information to be shared between agencies to help manage and mitigate any risk a victim may face as a result of domestic violence.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said these changes will require magistrates to issue DVOs for a minimum of five years unless there are reasons for a shorter order.
“Courts will be required to consider if additional conditions need to be included and determine the appropriate duration of a protection order based on the protection that a victim and their family needs,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“The amendments will increase penalties for perpetrators who breach release conditions or the conditions of a Police Protection Notice.”
The Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 will be introduced to Parliament this week.
Minister Fentiman: 0400 774 303
Attorney-General: 0417 272 875