Queensland Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman
Queensland Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman Max Fleet

Domestic violence push by LNP 'premature' says minister

QUEENSLAND women's minister Shannon Fentiman said the LNP's push to change domestic violence laws and allow victims to access a violent partner's history was premature.

She said this was not one of the recommendations that came out in the domestic violence report earlier this year, which outlined 140 suggestions the state government could take in stopping the issue.

Ms Fentiman said there were concerns the LNP's scheme, which would allow domestic violence victims and their families to apply to get information about a partner's violent background, could encourage more perpetrators to plead not guilty.

She said this could draw out domestic violence cases and harm the victim.

"However, we will closely watch the NSW trial and any evaluation from the UK's introduction of this law," Ms Fentiman said.

"The Western Australian Government has considered this and chose not to proceed with it."

 

Push for laws to find out partner's violence history

PEOPLE in violent relationships will be able to ask police and find out legally whether their partner has a history of domestic violence, if the Queensland LNP is successful in its bid to change the law.

The LNP has released a discussion paper where Queenslanders will be able to have a say on changing the law and allow domestic violence victims or family members to be given information about their partner's history.

The scheme is similar to the United Kingdom's Clare's Law, which was created after a 36-year-old mother Clare Wood was raped and strangled to death by a man she had met online.

Working Against Violence Support Service general manager Linda-Ann Northey said the changes had the potential to increase women's safety.

She said there were examples where this law could have come in handy.

Ms Northey said one young woman they had supported was concerned about her partner's history and wanted a bit more information, but wasn't able to get it at the time.

But Ms Northey said they found out later her partner had previously served time in jail for killing a woman in a domestic violence situation.

"This particular person had been in two previous domestic violence relationships," Ms Northey said. "One that had led to a lot of physical violence and the second one where he had actually had killed his partner."

She said if the woman was able to access that information, it would have been helpful to her.

Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services shadow minister Tracy Davis said the scheme was not designed for those who have a domestic violence order against them, but for the serious, high risk cases.

Victims, family and friends would be able to make an application.

Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg said discussion paper responses were due by the end of August. Depending on the outcome from this and potential further consultation, he said changes could be made by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government is considering the 140 recommendations made in a report on domestic violence that was released in February.


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