Premier Palaszczuk says Not Now, Not Ever to family violence
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the Queensland Government will implement all 140 recommendations in Dame Quentin Bryce's landmark Not Now, Not Ever report into domestic and family violence.
Key actions include increasing criminal penalties for domestic and family violence, to reflect that the relationship is an aggravating factor in sentencing.
The Premier said the government response would provide the framework for wide-ranging legal, social and cultural change.
"The time is right for action and I believe the community has the will to change," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We will now work with Queenslanders across the state to bring about a shift in our attitudes towards domestic and family violence, as well as providing the legal framework to help victims."
All 121 of the Government recommendations have been accepted and the 19 non-government recommendations will be actively supported.
"Domestic and family violence is such a breach of trust that it deserves a higher penalty and the Criminal code will be changed to reflect this," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The 'Not Now, Not Ever' Report also identified that strangulation is often a precursor to domestic homicide, and a clear indication of an escalation in violence.
The taskforce recommended considering making this a criminal offence. We will take a close look at this."
"On the education front, we will be working with principals, teachers and school communities to teach children about healthy, respectful relationships," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We will work with the Department of Education to develop appropriate materials for children, teachers and parents."
"We're pushing for a cultural shift where it's necessary within the police service, by appointing the Deputy Commissioner (Regional Operations) Brett Pointing as the Champion of Best Practice in prevention and first response".
"And we'll trial a new, integrated response system in three locations across Queensland, one urban, one regional, and one Indigenous, to find the best way to deliver seamless help for victims and their families.
"I'm also determined that change will start from within. As Queensland's biggest employer, the government has the opportunity to bring about significant cultural change through its workforce."
"My government has already moved on key recommendations, including a specialised domestic violence court, and funding two new crisis shelters, in Brisbane and Townsville," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Now we've identified more priorities and with government and community working together, we can decide to eliminate this scourge from our society."
Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman said over four years, $31.3 million will be invested to implement the high-priority initiatives recommended in the Not Now: Not Ever report. During 2015-16, Government funding to tackle domestic and family violence, including existing programs and new measures, will total more than $66 million.
"Dame Quentin Bryce has given us a detailed blueprint for success.
We accept all her recommendations and have developed a government draft strategy which we will now take to the people of Queensland for input,' Ms Fentiman said.
"This is a huge undertaking, from challenging the culture and attitudes which underpin violence, through to the help we offer victims to ensure they are supported and don't get lost in the system," Ms Fentiman said.
"We want to work with communities right across Queensland to make sure we can deliver the support and services which fit specific local needs and, importantly, prevent domestic and family violence occurring in the first place."