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Qld’s domestic violence failure

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There are 140 ways to tackle domestic violence in Queensland, but it’s clear they’re not being tried quickly enough.

It’s almost six-and-a-half months since former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce handed down a landmark Not Now, Not Ever report with 140 recommendations on ending the crisis.

But mothers, wives, partners, sisters and daughters are still being murdered at an alarming rate in the state.

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Almost 20 women have died at the hands of their current or former partners this year alone.

There are 180 reports of domestic violence to social services and authorities daily.

Two mothers have been killed in the past five days, allegedly at the hands of ex-partners.

Tara Brown, 24, died on Tuesday after being run off the road and bludgeoned in the face as she lay pinned under her car in front of onlookers in someone’s front yard.

Karina Lock, 49, died on Thursday after being shot at point blank range in front of terrified diners at a McDonald’s restaurant by her estranged partner, Steven Lock, who then turned the gun on himself.

A six-year-old girl was also allegedly murdered in her bed by her own father, while another woman was allegedly attacked with a machete by her ex-partner.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has essentially offered a blank cheque to the DV Connect help line and promised to fast-track domestic violence legislation in parliament.

“No more talking, we need action out on the ground,” she has said.

But it’s since been revealed that the attorney-general’s office is still at least two weeks away from starting consultation on those laws.

The government received the Bryce report in February and named domestic violence as a top priority in May.

But they have been unable to explain why they took until mid-August to accept the recommendations and start taking action.

Even now, their responses appear to be hamstrung by centralisation in the departments of premier and cabinet, attorney-general and communities.

AAP’s enquiries about progress on various recommendation have been passed back and forth between departments, and then back to the same triumvirate, which have not been able respond in time for this article.

The opposition offers bipartisan support for implementing the 140 recommendations, but not without patting themselves on the back for commissioning the report.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg also suggested earlier this week that Tara Brown’s death was linked to bikie laws, while his deputy, John Paul Langbroek, linked the four vicious attacks to a faltering economy.

Queensland police have not even responded to AAP’s inquiries about their progress on implementing recommendations involving their organisation.

What’s more concerning is that it appears everyone is going in circles.

Over the years we’ve seen the brutal killings of Alison Baden-Clay, Li Ping Cao, Neelma Singh and her two siblings, Noelene Beutel, Suzanna Kirton, Amanda Falconer, Annette Cherry and the list painfully goes on.

Politicians’ constant calls for immediate, national, coordinated action are now starting to ring hollow.

With Queensland’s staggering levels of domestic violence, the state is in the position to take the lead and show other states how to stop the emergency.

State parliament reconvenes on Tuesday and Queenslanders will see whether their politicians are truly committed to ensuring domestic violence is seen “Not Now, Not Ever”.

Because sadly at the moment it feels again like a case of too little, too late.

AAP

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