LNP gives power back to domestic violence victims

· LNP Bill will introduce immediate 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 review
· LNP Bill will allow 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
· Unlike Labor, the LNP has taken action to tackle domestic violence and will introduce the Bill in State Parliament this week

LNP Leader Tim Nicholls today announced the final key measures to be included in the Opposition’s Private Members Bill to crack down on domestic violence in Queensland.

Further strong laws announced today will speed up the court process for victims of domestic violence by allowing urgent appeal rights to the bail application process, similar to existing provisions in the NSW bail laws.

“The sooner we act, the sooner vulnerable women and children can feel safe knowing the law is working for them and not the alleged perpetrator,” Mr Nicholls said.

“One of the key measures in this Bill is to allow fast-tracked appeal rights against the bail application process to ensure all appeals are finalised within three business days.

“Currently appeals can take far longer, meaning victims are stuck living in limbo and fear.

“During this time the alleged offender is out in the community – but under the LNP’s laws, the alleged offender will stay in custody while awaiting the outcome of the appeal.

“The LNP’s Bill will also allow GPS trackers to be fitted to an alleged offender as a bail condition, to ensure the safety of the victim through the court process, which can often be lengthy.

“This will give the courts greater powers in certain high-risk cases to ensure the accused can’t make contact with the victim.”

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said today’s announcement followed a suite of measures already announced by the LNP, including a DV Alert system to ensure victims were informed when their alleged attacker first applied for bail or when their parole was up for consideration.

“The Bill also reverses the onus of proof, forcing those charged with domestic violence crimes such as assault, grievous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, strangulation and stalking to prove why they deserve bail,” Mr Walker said.

“It’s been almost two weeks since Teresa Bradford’s life was tragically cut short, but we’ve seen no action from the Palaszczuk Government.

“While Annastacia Palaszczuk has failed to take leadership, the LNP has got on with the job, introducing legislation to tackle domestic violence from Opposition.”

Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Ros Bates said this wasn’t the first time the Palaszczuk Government had dragged its heels on domestic violence reforms.

“Almost two years since the Not Now, Not Ever report was handed down, Labor hasn’t implemented even half of the recommendations,” Ms Bates said.

Shadow Police Minister Tim Mander said Labor could no longer allow families to be let down by the system that’s there to protect them.

“I genuinely hope Members on all sides of the House will see past the politics and do what’s right by supporting the LNP’s strong laws,” Mr Mander said.

“Talk is cheap, the time for action is now.”

Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2017

Measures already announced in past fortnight:
· 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 will be notified when someone charged with domestic violence related 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

Measures announced today:
· 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 review (currently it can take up to 30 days)
· 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

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