Strong progress made in first year of women’s safety and justice reforms
Published Friday, 04 August, 2023 at 03:34 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 first annual report on progress implementing reforms of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.
- From Report One, 24 recommendations have been delivered, with a further 56 underway, and 9 not yet scheduled to commence.
Significant progress has been made to improve the experiences of Queensland women within the criminal justice system, hold domestic violence perpetrators to account, and criminalise coercive control, according to the first Queensland Government annual report released today.
The Taskforce’s two Hear Her Voice reports made a combined 277 recommendations to bring about systemic and cultural change in responding to violence against women and children and improving women and girls’ experiences in the criminal justice system.
The Palaszczuk Government responded by committing $588 million to implement these recommendations, bringing total investment committed to end domestic, family and sexual violence to $1.5 billion since 2015.
The first annual report on the Queensland Government’s progress implementing the Women’s Safety and Justice Reform program has been tabled by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath.
The annual report shows that the Palaszczuk Government has delivered in full 24 recommendations from the first Taskforce report, which addressed coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland.
Responses to another 56 recommendations from Report One are underway.
The annual report also acknowledged the Palaszczuk Government’s steady progress implementing responses to the Taskforce’s second report.
Key achievements highlighted in the annual report include that the Government:
- established an independent commission of inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence, which made 78 recommendations in its final report. All of these were supported in principle by the Palaszczuk Government.
- introduced legislation to modernise and strengthen the offence of unlawful stalking, address the patterned nature of coercive control, and lay the foundation to create a standalone offence of coercive control
- appointed Stephen Tillett as Queensland’s inaugural First Nations Justice Officer
- announced three new High Risk Team (HRT) locations in Rockhampton, Townsville and the Redlands as well as delivered a funding increase to existing HRTs.
- provided enhanced funding to men’s behavioural change programs to meet increased demand
- developed a co-response model involving both Queensland Police Service and specialist DFV services for domestic violence call outs, with a trial planned to commence in Cairns in late-2023
- made the Respect program, Respectful relationships education hub and supporting resources available to all Queensland schools.
This is a whole of government reform program and implementing all Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce recommendations will require a long-term approach.
The Queensland Government has committed to tabling annual reports in Parliament to help ensure transparency and accountability of the reform program.
The Women’s Safety and Justice Reform Annual report 2022-23 is available here.
The second progress report from the Independent Implementation Supervisor has also been tabled. It discusses the implementation progress of seven recommendations from Report One, as well as 10 recommendations from A Call for Change (Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service Responses to Domestic and Family Violence.)
The Supervisor found that overall progress has been positive, outlining a strong and genuine commitment by the Palaszczuk Government to implementing the reform program.
Key achievements on A Call for Change recommendations at the time of the IIS report being compiled highlight that:
- QPS has elevated the role of the Domestic and Family Violence Advisory Group
- QPS has initiated a procedure which requires Officers in Charge to ensure that all frontline officers who attend domestic and family violence occurrences meet with a designated senior officer to receive feedback in relation to a sample of their body worn camera footage at least every six months.
- QPS has established specialist domestic violence training for designated roles
- QPS has reviewed and updated the list of support services to which officers can refer vulnerable people experiencing domestic and family violence.
The report can be found here.
Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General:
“The Queensland Government remains committed to keeping girls, women, and families safe from violence and holding perpetrators to account.”
“The reform program set out by the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce provides a clear path forward for us to achieve this with the support of frontline domestic, family and sexual violence services who work tirelessly across our state.”
“This first annual report shows that we are making strong progress in delivering these important reforms.”
“The second progress report of the Independent Implementation Supervisor also shows strong progress. I thank Ms Linda Apelt for her valuable oversight and contributions during her time as interim Independent Implementation Supervisor and welcome Ms Cathy Taylor who took up the role in early May.”
“We have delivered important legislative reform, commissions of inquiry, and service sector reform, but we acknowledge there is still much more work to be done.”
“Our Government is determined to stay the course – with the support of the community and agencies around the state, we can end violence against women and improve the lives of women and girls.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan:
“There has been good early progress, both within the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and across government, on implementing recommendations of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce and the Commission of Inquiry into QPS responses to Domestic and Family Violence,” Minister Ryan said.
“The Palaszczuk Government accepted in principle the recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry and, considerable progress has been made to deliver enhanced support and protections to those people experiencing domestic and family violence.”
“The Independent Implementation Supervisor’s second progress report recognises the achievements already delivered and acknowledges the challenges given the extensive reform program in breadth, scale and complexity.”
“Delivering meaningful change will take time to ensure we get it right but there is a genuine commitment to this reform work.”
Media contact: Cullen Robinson 0418 170 474