· LNP Opposition proud to introduce tough new laws to fight against the scourge of domestic violence
· Five key reforms including reversing the onus of proof for bail in domestic violence incidents, DV alert systems and GPS tracking devices
· While Labor does nothing, the LNP’s laws will ensure power is handed back to the victim and not the accused
The LNP Opposition has done what the Palaszczuk Labor Government won’t by introducing tough domestic violence laws in a Private Members Bill in State Parliament today.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls announced a raft of strong domestic violence reforms, including reversing the onus of proof for bail in domestic violence incidents, DV alert systems and GPS tracking devices.
“We don’t need another review, or another taskforce, or another talkfest – we know what the problems are and action is needed now to protect victims and their families,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Last year Queensland accounted for a quarter of all domestic violence-related deaths in Australia, with 18 Queensland women dying at the hands of their partner.
“Today the LNP introduced laws to reverse the onus of proof for bail in domestic violence incidents, to put responsibility on the accused to prove why they deserve bail and not the other way around.
“Most other states across the country have already enacted similar bail reforms for domestic violence offences – sadly, Queensland is one of the last remaining states to act.
“The LNP will also put in place a DV alert system, where victims and family members will be notified if a person charged with a domestic violence-related offence is being considered for, or has been granted, bail.
“It’s hard to believe there are currently no legislative provisions to allow this to occur in Queensland.”
Mr Nicholls said one of the other key measures of the Bill was to allow fast-tracked appeal rights against the bail application process to ensure all appeals were finalised within three business days.
“At the moment victims are often left living in fear while they wait for the appeals process to be finalised, while the alleged offender is out in the community.
“Under the LNP’s laws, the alleged offender will remain in custody while awaiting the outcome of an urgent appeal.
“Finally, GPS trackers will be introduced as a potential bail condition for high-risk offenders, to ensure the safety of the victim through an often lengthy court process.
“This will give the courts greater powers in certain high-risk cases to ensure the accused can’t make contact with the victim.
“It would be similar to the GPS tracking program currently in New South Wales.
“While Annastacia Palaszczuk has failed to take leadership, the LNP has got on with the job, introducing legislation to tackle domestic violence from Opposition.
“Almost two years since the Not Now, Not Ever report was handed down, Labor has followed through on just 46 recommendations.
“I call on Members on all sides of the House to rise above politics and do what’s best for the victims and families of domestic violence.
“Talk is cheap – we need action now.”
Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2017
· Reversing the presumption for bail in domestic violence-related crimes such as assault, grievous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, strangulation and kidnapping
· Introducing a DV Alert system to ensure victims and families are notified when someone charged with domestic violence crimes is being considered for or has been granted bail
· The DV Alert system will also notify victims and families when someone with a DVO is being considered for parole, even if the reason they are in prison is not related to domestic violence
· Introducing urgent appeal rights to the bail application process, meaning bail decisions will be stayed for up to three business days and referred to a higher court for urgent review
· Allowing GPS trackers to be fitted to an alleged offender as a bail condition by the court to ensure that victims of crime are better protected throughout the trial process, which can be lengthy