A media release dated 7 July 2015:
The Palaszczuk Government will spend $31.3 million over four years on a range of initiatives aimed at tackling domestic and family violence, including the trial of a specialist Domestic and Family Violence Magistrates Court at Southport.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced next week’s State Budget would include funding to ensure access to effective legal services for victims of domestic and family violence, and enhance current death review processes to reduce future deaths.
“There is more than one domestic violence-related death every week in Australia. This horrific statistic must sound a critical warning for our community,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We must urgently address this insidious problem to help build a Queensland free from violence.”
“We need to make sure that when people find the courage to leave violent situations they have somewhere to go, services to help them rebuild their lives and the support of the justice system.”
Minister for Communities, Shannon Fentiman, said access to legal support and an effective justice response was essential to support victims and ensure perpetrators are held to account.
“When women have the courage to speak up about their abuse and take the matter to court, it is vital we have the services to support them,” Ms Fentiman said.
“These are steps towards making it simpler for victims of domestic violence to navigate the justice system.
“We also know that ensuring services, including shelters, are available to support women and children fleeing domestic and family violence is crucial.”
- The trial of a specialist Domestic and Family Violence Magistrates Court with a dedicated magistrate to commence in Southport in September.
- Additional funding of $3 million over four years from 2015-16, including $2.1 million to establish an independent Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board, and expand the Domestic and Family Violence Review Unit.
- Funding of $1.1 million in this financial year to expand the Domestic Violence Duty Lawyer Service to 14 locations through Legal Aid Queensland.
- $8 million over two years to establish dedicated 72-hour crisis shelters in Brisbane and Townsville, and a further $11.9 million over four years to operate the shelters.
- $3 million towards a national campaign to reduce violence against women and their children.
The measures form part of the Government’s response to the ‘Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland’ report by the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence, chaired by Dame Quentin Bryce.
The Queensland Government will soon release the full response to the report’s 140 recommendations, which will underpin the development of a Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy to prevent the cycle of violence.