The Liberal National Party took action to protect victims of domestic and family violence delivering the reforms that the community expect.
Tragically, Queensland accounted for a quarter of all domestic violence-related deaths in Australia in 2016.
In 2015-16 there were more than 22,853 breaches of domestic violence orders in Queensland, an increase of 39% on the previous year.
Despite the Not Now, Not Ever report being handed down in early 2015, not even half of the recommendations have been implemented by the Palaszczuk Labor Government two years later.
Queensland is stagnating, the community is crying out for leadership and we have a government stuck in neutral.
Action is taking too long. We know what the problem is and the time to act is now. If Annastacia Palaszczuk won’t do the job she is paid to do, the LNP will introduce the reforms that are needed from opposition.
In government, the LNP recognised the need for action and introduced a number of important initiatives to improve the laws and increase funding for women’s and support services by:
- investing more than $25 million in domestic and family violence initiatives as part of the 2014 budget
- investing $10 million in sexual assault and women’s health services
- introducing a new Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act
- establishing major reforms to safety measures to help victims stay in their homes, and
- delivering strong reforms to ensure courts gave reasons when protection orders were made for less than the required 5 years.
However, we realised that more needed to be done. That’s why we appointed former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce to lead a taskforce that produced the Not Now, Not Ever report.
Delivering from Opposition
The LNP opposition successfully delivered the strong reforms that the community expect. We listened to the community and we are acting. Under the LNP’s laws, families will be safer - if these changes can save one life – then they are worth it.
The LNP has delivered strong reforms to the bail system to protect victims and the community. These included:
Reversing the Onus of Proof for Bail
Making it harder for bail to be granted for alleged offenders charged with domestic violence-related crimes.
GPS Monitoring for High-Risk Offenders on Bail
Allowing the police to apply for GPS monitoring as part of a bail condition to ensure the safety of victims and their families.
Introducing Immediate Appeal Rights for Bail
Providing an urgent review of a granted bail application to a higher court.
Establishing a DV Alert System for Parole
Automatic notification when anyone the subject of a domestic violence order is being considered for parole, giving time for victims to prepare mentally and physically themselves.
A Tim Nicholls led LNP Government will also implement a DV alert system for bail, when a defendant in a domestic violence crime applies for bail, receives bail or a modified bail condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Queensland alone with a presumption of bail for domestic violence-related crimes?
Queensland is sadly one of the last states to move on removing presumption of bail for violent offences including specific domestic violence-related crimes.
How many recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever Report have been fully implemented by the Labor Government?
After two years Labor’s Annastacia Palaszczuk has failed to fully implement almost 80 of the 121 recommendations for government in the Not Now, Not Ever Report.
What offences are covered by a reverse onus of proof for bail under the LNP’s laws?
Under the LNP laws, a reverse presumption against bail applies for violent offences committed in a family violence situation. This includes but is not limited to offences of attempted strangulation, assault, grievous bodily harm and stalking.
Did the Not Now, Not Ever report recommend changing bail laws to introduce a presumption against bail?
The Taskforce specifically recommended recording on a person’s criminal record that the offence was in the context of domestic and family violence. This allows courts to consider the perpetrator’s history and conduct in subsequent sentencing for similar matters. A history of violence would also exclude any presumption of bail for perpetrators arrested by police for domestic and family violence-related offences.
Unfortunately, Labor only actioned the first half of the recommendation.
What are some of the key facts on domestic violence in Queensland?
Queensland accounted for a quarter of all the nation’s domestic violence deaths. According to DV Connect, 18 Queensland women were killed in 2016 from a national total of 71.
According to the Queensland Police Statistical Review, domestic and family violence applications by unique victims increased 30% from 22,224 in 2014-15 to 29,089 in 2015-16.
What is the immediate bail appeal rights initiative based on?
In New South Wales, s40 of the Bail Act provides that a bail decision can be immediately stayed for a period of up to three business days to the Supreme Court on application by the police or a lawyer acting on behalf of the Crown.
What do the changes to parole mean?
A victim of a crime can already be notified of information, including the parole release date of the prisoner who committed the offence. The Women’s Legal Service Queensland submission to the Sofronoff parole review recommended that victims of domestic violence also be provided with this right, even if they are not the target of the specific offending behaviour for which parole is being considered.
What is the purpose of the GPS trackers?
GPS trackers are to be used as a community safety measure in a potential bail condition. This change implements a key recommendation of the Not Now, Not Ever report, for high-risk offenders.