First progress report on domestic and family violence reforms

Queensland Government media release

The first independent progress report of the Queensland Government’s Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce reforms to end domestic and family violence and criminalise coercive control has been released.

Attorney-General and Minster for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the progress report prepared by Ms Linda Apelt, the interim Independent Implementation Supervisor, showed considerable work had been achieved to date.

“We have embarked on an unprecedented program of reforms to tackle domestic and family violence and make our state is a safer and more respectful place for women and girls,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Since 2015, we’ve invested more than $1.3 billion to eliminate domestic, family and sexual violence and improve the experiences of women and girls in the criminal justice system, with much of the recent work now being driven by the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s Hear her voice reports one and two.

“Already 74 of the 84 recommendations contained in the first Taskforce report that were directed at Government are either underway or have been delivered.

“The remainder are due to commence at a later phase of implementation or are dependent on another recommendation being delivered first.”

Minister Fentiman said the progress report represented significant work across multiple agencies.

“The interim Independent Implementation Supervisor has found agencies are strongly committed to achieving meaningful reforms through their approach to implementation.

“I sincerely thank Ms Apelt for her efforts in overseeing the progress of our ambitious reform program.”

In response to Report One of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce recommendations, the Queensland Government has:

  • conducted a Commission of Inquiry into police responses to domestic and family violence
  • introduced the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combatting Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, laying the legislative foundation for the introduction of a new criminal offence of coercive control
  • uplifted Domestic Violence High Risk Teams to support growing demand and begun work to establish three new teams in Townsville, Brisbane South and Rockhampton
  • launched the new Prep to Year 12 ‘Respect’ program to offer resources to help guide teachers and students so they benefit from the Respectful Relationships Education Program
  • revised the Common Risk and Safety Framework to support a more consistent response to Queenslanders experiencing domestic and family violence and allow for appropriate support across the state.

An Independent Implementation Supervisor with responsibility for overseeing implementation was a recommendation of both the first and second Taskforce reports as well as the Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence – A Call to change.

Ms Apelt said agencies do not have an easy task ahead but are demonstrating a strong and clear commitment to implementing the Government response.

“It is an honour to serve in the role of interim independent implementation supervisor and I thank the many agency representatives I have met with so far,” Ms Apelt said.

“The breadth, scale, and complexity of the program of reform to be undertaken is not to be underestimated.

“However, I acknowledge the extensive work already underway by agencies to deliver on the Government’s commitments.

“My initial view is that they are making steady progress towards honouring the voices of everyone who told their story or contributed to the Hear her Voice and A Call to Change reports.”

The independent implementation supervisor’s report is available here.

Access more information about the Queensland Government response to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce reports.