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Qld domestic violence laws strengthened

AAP logoAAP 15/08/2016 By Jamie McKinnell

Domestic violence protection orders will be issued for longer and information-sharing across agencies will be easier under strengthened domestic violence legislation in Queensland.

The Palaszczuk government will on Tuesday introduce a bill to parliament to set DV protection orders for a minimum of five years rather than two years.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the changes would also recognise that agencies such as police, probation and parole, hospitals and health service providers all had different "pieces of the puzzle" to protect victims.

"If we can share that information in a co-ordinated, collaborative way, we can identify women who are at risk and potentially save women's lives," she said in Brisbane on Monday.

The reforms will also lay the legislative groundwork for a national recognition scheme for DV orders - something Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said all jurisdictions had committed to do this year.

Frontline police officers will also be able to issue immediate police protection notices (PPN) under Labor's reforms, which come as a result of a domestic violence taskforce led by Dame Quentin Bryce.

Ms Fentiman said the notices could also apply to children.

"We are no longer requiring police to write down the reasons for the PPN, they just have to understand that domestic violence has been committed, communicate that to the perpetrator, and believe there is a need for immediate protection," she said.

There have already been nine domestic violence related deaths in Queensland this year.

Opposition domestic and family violence prevention spokesman Ros Bates said consequences for breaching DV orders needed to be enforced in court.

In 2014/15, there were more than 16,600 breaches, she said, representing a 14 per cent increase on the previous year.

"This is a clear indication that those who breach an order are often getting away with a slap on the wrist and courts are struggling," Ms Bates said.

The LNP also questioned why it had taken so long to announce the changes given the government has had the domestic violence taskforce report for more than a year.

* National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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