· LNP laws pass State Parliament to protect victims of domestic violence and their children
· Laws toughen bail rules for DV offenders, introduced urgent appeal rights for victims and see offenders fitted with GPS tracking devices
· Labor votes against key DV bail alert measures which would see victims given early warning
The Queensland Parliament tonight passed important new laws to protect Queensland victims of domestic violence, their children and their families, introduced by the Liberal National party.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls said new laws including reversing the onus of proof, introduced urgent appeal rights for victims and allowing GPS trackers for offenders in domestic violence cases will save lives.
“The Queensland Parliament tonight voted to protect vulnerable victims of domestic violence,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Queenslanders are horrified and saddened every time we hear about the tragic death of another victim of domestic violence and we want the scourge of domestic violence to end.
“On behalf of every woman, man and child feeling threatened by a violent former partner, I am relieved that MPs supported reforms to provide victims better protection.
“The Queensland community was demanding action on domestic violence, and the LNP has stepped up and delivered reforms from Opposition because we couldn’t wait any longer.”
Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Ros Bates said Queensland accounted for a quarter of all domestic violence-related deaths in Australia last year.
“Domestic violence is a matter of life and death, where 18 Queensland women died at the hands of their partner, which is 18 too many,” Ms Bates said.
“That’s why the LNP appointed former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce to lead a taskforce that produced the Not Now, Not Ever report.
“The LNP have a strong record of standing up for victims of crime and ensuring that the scales of justice are balanced in favour of community safety.”
Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the LNP’s measures will give the courts greater powers in certain high-risk cases to ensure the accused can’t make contact with the victim.
“It’s beyond belief Labor members refused to support important provisions around a DV bail alert system which would have seen victims alerted when a previous offender applied for bail,” Mr Walker said.
“This common-sense measure would have ensured DV victims have an early alert when an offender is released, allowing them to take the necessary safety precautions.
“Most other states across the country have already enacted similar reforms for domestic violence offences – sadly, Queensland is one of the last remaining states to act.”
Key reforms in the 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. Passed
· 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. Failed
· 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. Passed
· 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. Passed
· 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. Passed