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Prevention of Family Violence

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 23 November 2020

Tags: Family Violence, Women

Ms O'CONNOR - Premier, we know you are busy and you have multiple portfolios, but have you made the time or had the opportunity since taking on this portfolio to go out and talk to people who are in the sector working at the coalface? For example, people at Magnolia House or Laurel House or any of those services in gender equality where you get a really good feel for the challenges of the work?

Mr GUTWEIN - It would be fair to say that I haven't been out to visit. I note that we did meet with Engender and I have also met with SASS, but again not in the field. In fact, I think it was in the parliament that I met both of those providers.

Ms O'CONNOR - I also highly recommend going out and talking to the people of Bridgewater who have established their own community-led family violence initiative. My question actually has been put by The Examiner, your local newspaper, which has been reporting on domestic and family violence. In fact, in yesterday's paper at the end of the column they say that the first barrier The Examiner is tackling is the fee associated with obtaining a private intervention order in Tasmania. It is $32.40 plus $15 for photocopying. I am sure you would agree that for some women that is a barrier. Have you addressed this matter, or do you plan to?

Mr GUTWEIN - I haven't addressed the situation, and thank you for raising it. I will get some further advice to see whether or not there are any options we have in terms of waiving that or providing other supports around it. We will follow that up.


Ms O'CONNOR - Premier, are you aware of the issue of non-fatal strangulation? We have written to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice about this, but so far the Coroner, Olivia McTaggart, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, the Women's Legal Service, and other jurisdictions have made it clear that there is strong evidence in support of the creation of a new offence to deal with the unique characteristics of non-fatal strangulation in a family violence setting. We have some correspondence from the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General here, so it is before the Sentencing Advisory Council. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this and this area of potential law reform.

Mr GUTWEIN - As you have indicated, it is before the Sentencing Advisory Council. It is getting late. Sorry. It is a matter that has been raised with me throughout my short period as minister responsible for this area. I have been surprised at how many of the support services I have engaged with that have raised this. It is a matter we will give due attention to.

Ms O'CONNOR - It is definitely on your radar?

Mr GUTWEIN - It is on my radar.