DV taskforce to tackle increasing violence

Edon Place Service Director Lyne Booth has welcomed the new Domestic Violence Taskforce.
Edon Place Service Director Lyne Booth has welcomed the new Domestic Violence Taskforce. Max Fleet

THE newly established state-wide Domestic Violence Taskforce will visit Bundaberg as part of its five-month investigation to stop the escalating rates of family violence.

Police Minister and Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey has invited the eight-person taskforce, led by Dame Quentin Bryce, to meet with key stakeholders including women's domestic violence service, Edon Place.

"Whilst not pre-empting any outcomes, I think Bundaberg will be a great opportunity, because of its size, to trial particular programs," he said.

Mr Dempsey said domestic violence offences in Bundaberg fell from 542 in 2013/14 to 480 in 2013/14.

"It's a decrease of 12% but the fact is, one DV incident is too many," he said.

"I have no doubt there are many unreported acts that occur."

Edon Place Service Director Lyne Booth said the service placed an expression of interest to be on the taskforce and a representative attended Government House on Thursday for the announcement of the taskforce.

"The message we received from (Member for Burnett) Steve Bennett was that we are a key stakeholder with what's going to happen with the taskforce," Mrs Booth said.

"We are looking forward to speaking to them about the situation here in Bundaberg with the high number of domestic violence incidents."

The announcement of the taskforce comes about 18 months after the NewsMail's domestic violence campaign, Respect, Retreat, Rebuild.

"The high-visibility campaign the NewMail conducted can have lasting benefits in the community," Mrs Booth said.

Mr Dempsey called for the re-establishment of a dedicated domestic violence unit in Bundaberg in 2012, but said in June this year it was no longer required as the state had moved into "border policing".

He said the Queensland Police restructure in July last year had freed up more officers from behind the desk.

"They are able to attend more incidents of domestic violence," he said.

Mr Dempsey said a visit from the taskforce before the investigation wraps up in February would make Bundaberg the leader out of the rest of the state in terms of how domestic violence was approached.

"I want Bundaberg men and boys to stand up and be counted," he said.

"I want them to be responsible and I want the community to know domestic violence is not accepted in any form."

Despite the timeframe of only five-months being given to the taskforce to tackle the scourge, Mrs Booth said it was pleasing to see activity of this nature.

"Whatever work they can do in five months, it has to be a bonus for domestic violence services, and domestic violence in general," she said.

"I'm pleased they've got this taskforce happening."

The eight-person taskforce is comprised of Queensland community representatives Heather Nancarrow, Anne Cross and Ada Woolla, LNP members Kerry Millard and Ian Kaye, Independent Liz Cunningham and Labor's Desley Scott.

Topics:  domestic violence edon place respect rebuild

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