A campaign will run in Queensland promoting tough new penalties for people who assault the state’s nurses, doctors and paramedics.
People who assault health workers in Queensland will face up to 14 years in prison under tough new legislation introduced by the state government.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced the crackdown on Friday, as part of the government’s $44.5 million Safe Night Out strategy, aimed at curbing alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour in trouble hotspots like entertainment precincts.
Mr Springborg said the tough penalties were in response to startling statistics that show 24,500 nurses, doctors and paramedics have reported being a victim of a violent incident at work in the past five financial years.
More than 4400 last financial year alone were victims, he said.
“If you think it is okay to assault our health workers, we’ll give you up to 14 years to think again,” Mr Springborg said.
“It is simply not acceptable and that is why we have doubled the penalty.”
A campaign will complement the new laws, raising awareness of the increased penalty, and will highlight graphic injuries received by nurses, doctors and paramedics.
The new laws come after Police Minister Jack Dempsey last year announced tougher penalties for people who assault police officers.