February 26, 2020
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington says the way the system failed victims of domestic violence in the South Burnett was one of the triggers that made her decide to run for State Parliament.
Mrs Frecklington was speaking in the wake of the murders of a mother and her three children in Camp Hill last week.
“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,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“It’s time for Queenslanders to come together to deal with this issue because everyone deserves to live safely and free from violence.
“One of the reasons I became an MP was 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.”
Mrs Frecklington unveiled the LNP’s plan to strengthen Queensland’s domestic violence strategy should it win government at the next election:
1. Better laws and stronger penalties – fixing the strangulation offence
Immediately fix the definition and double the current maximum penalty for strangulation from seven years to 14 years. This will re-classify the offence as a Serious Violent Offence and align the penalties with grievous bodily harm, ensuring Queensland has the toughest strangulation laws in the nation.
2. New laws
Immediately review the entire domestic violence criminal justice legal framework to implement new laws such as coercive control and a specific domestic violence summary offence. Laws will also empower police to issue domestic violence orders on-the-spot, providing a more immediate response to help families, while taking pressure off our overburdened police and courts.
3. Protecting domestic violence survivors – Smart Technology
The LNP would commit $500,000 to roll out 200 personal safety devices to people vulnerable to domestic violence. This would include greater integration with GPS trackers to protect vulnerable survivors and their families when they need it most.
4. Extra support for domestic violence survivors and their families ($2.4 million)
An LNP Government would provide $1 million in extra funding to Women’s Legal Service and an extra $1 million in contestable funding to other frontline legal and support providers of domestic violence or sexual violence support. The LNP would also establish one-off emergency assistance grants of up to $2000 to help families flee, in recognition of the shortage of crisis accommodation.