Strong progress made on domestic, family and sexual violence and criminal justice reforms

Published Thursday, 14 December, 2023 at 12:51 PM


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

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

  •  An independent report found that the Queensland Government has made significant progress in the last six months on the implementation of domestic, family and sexual violence and criminal justice reforms.
  • The Queensland Government has committed to continuing to build momentum to implement reforms.
  • First annual report into the implementation progress for recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service (QPS) responses to domestic and family violence (DFV) has been released.

The Queensland Government has made significant progress with implementation of domestic, family and sexual violence and criminal justice reforms in the last six months, the third progress report from the Independent Implementation Supervisor shows.

The report, tabled today, noted key achievements such as the introduction of the Criminal Law (Coercive Control and Affirmative Consent) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023.

The Supervisor raised several considerations for government to support ongoing effective implementation. The government notes these considerations and will continue to build momentum in implementing these important reforms.

The third progress report can be found here.

The Queensland Government has also developed the Women’s Safety and Justice Reform Priorities document, as recommended by the Independent Implementation Supervisor in her second biannual report.

The priorities document outlines dependencies and delivery dates of key recommendations from A Call for Change, as well as both Taskforce reports.

The Priorities document can be found here.

The government also today released its first annual report into the implementation progress for recommendations from A Call for Change, the report from the Commission of Inquiry which examined QPS responses to DFV.

The report made 78 recommendations for change within the QPS, and the broader system response, that aim to achieve direct, timely, and measurable responses to DFV.

Many of the recommendations from A Call for Change intersected and overlapped with reviews and reports from other ongoing reform programs aimed at tackling DFV, such as the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (WSJT) reforms currently underway.

Twenty-one recommendations are considered delivered, with numerous other recommendations expected to be delivered in the next twelve months. Alignment with similar recommendations made in other government reports has enabled significant implementation efficiencies to be realised.

Since the release of A Call for Change in November 2022, considerable progress has already been made on implementation of a number of recommendations:

  • immediately appointed a Special Coordinator to lead implementation of the QPS aspects of these reforms. An Independent Implementation Supervisor was also appointed to oversee the implementation of the Government response (recommendation 76). 
  • elevated the DFV Advisory Group (recommendation 5).    
  • introduced a requirement for officers attending DFV occurrences to receive feedback on a sample of their body-worn camera footage (recommendation 15).   
  • introduced a requirement for members in designated roles to undertake specialist five-day DFV training (recommendation 17).  
  • introduced a pocket-sized checklist for use by officers responding to DFV (recommendation 19). 
  • engaged an external expert to advise the QPS on the development and implementation of best practice procedures around awareness, identification, and reporting of sexual harassment (recommendation 24). 
  • established an awards scheme to acknowledge distinction in the police response to DFV (recommendation 40) and an awards scheme to ensure that distinction in policing responses to First Nations peoples and communities is also acknowledged (recommendation 64). 
  • established an additional complaint code to explicitly capture complaints involving allegations of racism against QPS members (recommendation 44).
  • established domestic violence as a priority area for the First Nations Justice Office and allocated additional staff (recommendations 65 and 66).
  • appointed an interim Victims’ Commissioner and is committed to appointing a permanent Commissioner by the end of June 2024 (recommendation 78).

The government committed $100 million in November 2022 to progress priority initiatives under this reform program.

The first annual report can be found here.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police, Mark Ryan:

 “I am pleased to see the progress made to date in delivering on recommendations made in the A Call for Change report and the ongoing commitment to meaningful change.

“Implementing the Taskforce and A Call for Change reforms will require a long-term approach, but the reports have given us a clear path forward to protecting and supporting Queenslanders and ending DFV.”

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

“Our government is unwavering in its commitment to keeping girls, women, and families safe from domestic, family and sexual violence and holding perpetrators to account.

“We continue to implement reforms including the recent introduction of a bill making coercive control a criminal offence and introducing an affirmative model of consent.

“The government will build on the momentum we have already gathered and continue to push through reforms to end domestic, family and sexual violence.”