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Simplifying and strengthening the legal system

We have undertaken a review of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to ensure it provides an effective and efficient legislative framework that protects victims, holds perpetrators accountable and supports the broader systemic reforms being implemented as part of the government’s response to the final report of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland (the Taskforce).

Changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012

On 11 October 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed the the Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (PDF), which made significant amendments to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to better protect victims of domestic and family violence and their families, hold perpetrators to account for their actions and support the delivery of integrated service responses.  

Key improvements include:

  • introducing a framework which enables key government and non-government entities to share information for the purpose of assessing risk and responding to serious domestic violence threats
  • expanding the protection police officers can provide to victims prior to the court deciding whether to make a domestic violence order (DVO)
  • requiring the court to focus on the protection needed by a victim in determining the appropriate duration of a protection order
  • requiring the court to consider any existing family law parenting order it is aware of and whether that order needs to be varied or suspended if it is inconsistent with the protection needed by the victim or their children
  • increasing maximum penalties for breaches of police protection notices and release conditions to achieve consistency with the penalty for breaching a DVO.

The amendments also implement model laws endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments to enable Queensland to participate in the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme. This scheme will provide for the automatic mutual recognition of DVOs made across Australia.

These changes represent the next stage of legislative reform to implement Recommendation 140 in the Taskforce's report, and build on priority amendments already enacted in 2015.

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For further information about the changes:

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