· Landmark laws to protect victims of domestic violence and their children to be debated in State Parliament today
· Laws would abolish automatic bail for offenders, introduce alert system if offender set to be released and see offenders fitted with GPS tracking devices
· Labor and cross-bench MPs have a choice today – play politics or save women’s lives
Queensland Parliament will today debate some of the most important new laws to protect Queensland victims of domestic violence, their children and their families for many years.
Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls has urged Labor and cross-bench MPs to support the new laws and save women’s and children’s lives.
“All Queenslanders are horrified and saddened every time we hear about the tragic death of another victim of domestic violence and we want the carnage to end,” Mr Nicholls said.
“I cannot see, in all conscience, how any member of the Queensland Parliament could vote against these laws today.
“I urge all politicians, no matter which party they belong to, to vote to protect women and other victims of domestic violence.
“It was also very sad that despite the majority of public submissions strongly supporting these reforms and widespread community support, Labor committee members chose to reject these important laws.
“I sincerely hope on behalf of every woman, man and child feeling threatened by a violent former partner that MPs will vote with their heads and hearts and support these reforms.
“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.
“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.
· 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.