Former Court of Appeal judge to lead taskforce into coercive control

Published Wednesday, 17 February, 2021 at 10:40 AM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Action against coercive control in Queensland is a step closer following today’s announcement by the Palaszczuk Government of an independent taskforce to examine the issue, with former Court of Appeal judge the Hon Margaret McMurdo AC at the chair.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the taskforce would recommend how best to legislate against coercive control as a form of domestic and family violence.

“Legislating against coercive control was a commitment we took to the election late last year,” the Premier said.

“The establishment of the taskforce is a significant step towards meeting this commitment.”

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government had committed to consulting extensively on the matter.

“We will consult with a wide range of survivors, domestic and sexual violence service providers, legal and domestic violence experts and the community,” the Attorney-General said.

“That includes Hannah Clarke’s parents Lloyd and Sue, in the development of a new approach to coercive control.

“It needs to be considered from all perspectives to ensure we get it right.

“We know coercive control is a significant risk factor for escalating violence and intimate partner homicide.

“It is a strategic form of ongoing oppression used by perpetrators to instil fear, employing tactics like isolating women from their friends and family, and invasive surveillance.

“Addressing coercive control is therefore a challenging issue requiring a comprehensive approach.”

This approach includes a focus on training first responders and domestic and family violence case workers to recognise and respond to coercive control, as well as developing a community awareness campaign.

With the Hon Margaret McMurdo leading the taskforce, Ms Fentiman said she was confident the Government will deliver strong, robust and carefully considered new laws.

On 24 October 2019, the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that all 140 of the recommendations in the landmark report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland have been implemented.

“While significant progress has been made there is still more that the Queensland Government wants to do to eliminate domestic and family violence from our community,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Every Queenslander has a role to play in preventing all forms of domestic and family violence.”


Media contact:
Jack Harbour (Premier’s office) 0419 620 447
Penni Pappas (Attorney-General’s office) 0438 747 540