Queensland’s premier says a domestic violence task force, headed by former governor general Quentin Bryce will identify ways to tackle the growing problem.
Former governor-general Quentin Bryce will head a task force aimed at tackling domestic violence in Queensland.
Ms Bryce will oversee a panel of state MPs and community representatives who will identify ways to address the growing problem, Premier Campbell Newman said.
The bipartisan task force is expected to include an MP each from the Liberal National Party and Labor and two or three representatives from non-government organisations.
Members will consult with communities, families, government and non-government organisations, and their final recommendations will inform a state domestic and family violence strategy.
Ms Bryce said she saw many overstretched women’s refuges in her roles as governor-general and Queensland governor.
In Queensland, there were on average 175 reports of domestic violence a day, with the annual number increasing from 58,000 in 2012 to 64,000 in 2013, she said.
“I feel a personal and moral obligation to do anything I can to stem the tide of domestic violence,” Ms Bryce told reporters.
Mr Newman said his government had reduced many types of crime, but reported instances of domestic violence were on the increase, along with breaches of domestic violence-related court orders.
“It’s not good enough, it’s not acceptable in the year 2014,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.
“Clearly something is terribly wrong when the figures just continue to go the wrong way.”
The announcement was applauded by Diane Mangan, chief executive of Queensland crisis response organisation DV Connect.
“It’s a scourge on our communities that’s not going away and, in fact, not only is it increasing, but becoming more severe,” Ms Mangan said.
The task force will undertake consultation around the state and report its recommendations to the premier by the end of February 2015.
Queensland’s Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said her party supports the taskforce but it was disappointing they weren’t consulted before.
“If the premier was genuine about bipartisan support I would have appreciated that the premier could have taken the time to discuss this matter during parliament last week, or even a phone call before the press conference,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Sunday.
She said it was about time the community tackled the serious issue of domestic violence, which the government had ignored for some time.
The opposition leader wants a private member’s bill that Labor introduced to parliament in May to form part of the discussion.
The bill sought to toughen penalties for domestic attacks and ensure those subjected to non-violent abuse can access assistance.