Deb advocates for DV victims: ‘we owe it to Hannah’
FOLLOWING on from the continuous domestic violence she was privy to working as a lawyer in Kingaroy, LNP Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has announced a range of important new measures to strengthen Queensland's domestic violence strategy.
Ms Frecklington said she was determined to keep Queenslanders safe and secure by preventing violence, supporting survivors and holding offenders to account.
Ms Frecklington said a future LNP Government would introduce the toughest strangulation laws in the country, immediately review the current criminal justice framework to implement new laws such as coercive control, roll out personal safety devices to people at high-risk, and provide grants up to $2000 for emergency accommodation assistance.
"I share in the community's grief over the tragic death of Hannah Clarke and her three young children Aaliyah, Laianah, and Trey," Ms Frecklington said.
"We owe it to Hannah, her three children and the countless other victims and survivors of domestic violence to do whatever it takes to make Queensland safer.
"One of the reasons I became an MP was because I saw the system fail domestic violence victims when I worked as a lawyer in Kingaroy.
"I helped families escape violence as a lawyer and I'm determined to keep helping them as a politician.
"I believe the government can do more to both prevent domestic violence and to help survivors and it's an issue that should be above politics.
"Queensland's laws are clearly failing to protect victims and every aspect must be looked at to fix the system.
"Under the LNP's plan, frontline police will be given tougher laws and new powers to issue domestic violence orders on the spot.
The LNP will provide high risk domestic violence victims with personal safety devices so they will know if someone issued with a DVO is getting closer to them."
Ms Frecklington said the new measures built on the Not Now, Not Ever report commissioned by the previous LNP Government and had four key pillars:
1. Better laws and stronger penalties - fixing the strangulation offence
Immediately fix the definition and double the current maximum penalty for strangulation from seven to 14 years.
This will reclassify it as a serious violent offence and align the penalties with grievous bodily harm.
2. New laws
Immediately review the entire domestic violence criminal justice legal framework to implement new laws.
Laws will also empower police to issue domestic violence orders on the spot, providing a more immediate response to help families.
3. Protecting domestic violence survivors
Ms Frecklington said the LNP would commit $500,000 to roll out 200 personal safety devices to people vulnerable to domestic violence.
This will include greater integration with GPS trackers and protect vulnerable survivors and their families when they need it most.
4. Extra support for domestic violence survivors and their families ($2.4 million)
Ms Frecklington said an LNP Government would provide $1m in extra funding to Women's Legal Service and an additional $1m in contestable funding to other frontline legal and support providers of domestic violence or sexual violence support.
LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the proposed changes to the laws aimed to give police a stronger framework to curb domestic violence on the frontline.
"Community safety should always come first," he said.
"The LNP will immediately review the entire domestic criminal justice legal framework to fix any failures in the system.
"We will also implement new laws aimed at helping our police do their jobs and improve community safety.
"Our police and courts are overwhelmed under the current system, which isn't working to protect families or hold perpetrators accountable."