New chapter for domestic and family violence reform

The Queensland Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council has met for the first time, heralding a new chapter in Queensland’s response to domestic and family violence.

Attending the inaugural meeting on Friday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Prevention Council would play an integral role, overseeing the next phase of the Queensland Government’s reform program and inspiring further corporate and community-led responses.

“In recent weeks, our State has felt an enormous sense of loss, grief and anger following a number of senseless domestic and family violence incidents,” the Premier said.

“The recent deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children has left our State and our nation shaken, appalled and desperately saddened at what was an unimaginable tragedy.

“These tragic events are a reminder not only of the insidious nature of domestic and family violence, but of how much more needs to be done to prevent and respond to it.

“This is not just an issue for governments to solve, we must act as a community, we all have a responsibility to end this violence.

“And a lot of people have ideas on how we can continue to tackle this important issue, that’s why today I announced I will convene a State summit for the end of March that will give people a chance to come together and share those ideas and take further action.”

The Premier said while Queensland continues to lead the nation in its efforts to prevent and respond to domestic and family violence, more work needs to be done.

“We’ve been working hard for a long time to stamp out this scourge from our society,” the Premier said.

“We brought the issue our from behind closed doors, invested $328.9 million to support our 10-year reform agenda and implemented all 140 recommendations from the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report.

“With the cooperation of hard-working teams across Government and the community, we introduced new laws, initiatives and infrastructure to make a profound difference in the lives of Queenslanders impacted by domestic and family violence.

“Some of these things included, establishing permanent specialist domestic and family violence courts, funding new shelters, making strangulation a stand-alone offence, implementing respectful relationships in schools and delivering campaigns urging bystanders to do something and for victims to seek support.

“We also recently released our Third Action Plan to continue our reform efforts which will be overseen by the newly-established Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council, co-Chaired by Ms Kay McGrath OAM and former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson AO APM.”

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the council was a diverse group of people from large organisations to community groups.

“With representatives from the health, business and education sectors, the LGBTIQ+ communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, the council brings together a range of experience and expertise, informing an inclusive response to domestic and family violence,” Minister Farmer said.

“I’m encouraged by the Prevention Council’s plan to get out in the community, to travel to regional Queensland, listening to individuals and community groups and encouraging greater corporate and community-led action.

“I’d like to thank Kay McGrath and who previously served as Chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, and Bob Atkinson who served as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for agreeing to co-Chair the Council.”

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