Michelle Lensink

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Police on the subject of a domestic violence discussion paper.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: In the last sitting week in relation to an amendment moved by my colleague the venerable the Hon. Andrew McLachlan, the minister responded by advising the chamber as follows:

The government is currently drafting a discussion paper to seek community views on the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and other potential areas of law reform. A discussion paper has yet to be released because information is being collated from multiple government agencies in order to develop a paper that not only seeks community views on law reform but also paints an accurate and comprehensive picture of domestic violence in South Australia. This discussion paper needs to be done right, not quickly.

The Premier made an announcement at the White Ribbon breakfast in November last year in relation to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and discussion paper. My questions to the minister are:

1.Is this the same discussion paper that the Premier was talking about that the minister referred to?

2.Why are we still waiting six months later?

3.Why is it appropriate that the Coroner, the Social Development Committee's inquiry into domestic violence and any other interested stakeholders who might find the data useful continue to wait for that information?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:24 ): I thank the honourable member for her important question regarding what is an incredibly important subject within Australian society generally at the moment. We are all increasingly aware of the size of the challenge that we have in dealing with domestic violence as a community, if we are going to achieve what I think is a legitimate objective of eradicating domestic violence from South Australian society.

I referred last week to the fact that the Attorney-General has taken upon himself the substantial responsibility of dealing with our domestic violence policy generally. He himself as Attorney-General is principally responsible for the domestic violence discussion paper to which I referred last week and to which the Hon. Ms Lensink also refers. I am happy to take her question on notice in respect of the specific nature of the timing, chronologically, around the domestic violence discussion paper that I referred to. What I would say, what I can share with the honourable member and the chamber more generally, of course, is that we want to make sure that any discussion paper is well thought through, evidence based, and has the accurate statistics that we need and necessitates accurate, well thought-through policy development.

The discussion paper is comprehensive, it takes time, but in regard to a specific time line, in terms of when it will be released more publicly, I am able to seek further information and bring that back to the honourable member as soon as possible.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK ( 14:25 ): Supplementary question: from the minister's experience, how long does it take the police to verify their statistics, and would it normally be in the order of six months?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:25 ): That question is specifically regarding SAPOL's contribution to that exercise. What I am happy to share with the honourable member and, again, the chamber more generally, is the fact that SAPOL has already passed on statistics to the Attorney-General regarding that discussion paper.

So SAPOL has made a contribution to that effort. In regard to all of its contents, there are some that SAPOL has already shared publicly, and I am happy to refer to some of those statistics, and I already have, but I am happy to continue to reiterate those, if that helps. SAPOL has provided a set of detailed statistics to the discussion paper and the exercise. That is currently subject to cabinet in-confidence, but I am sure, in due course, as that discussion paper is finalised and released, more information will become public, as it is appropriate to do so.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK ( 14:25 ): Supplementary question: bearing in mind that the minister may be relying on his memory, can he give a ballpark figure of roughly when those statistics were passed onto the Attorney-General? Was it weeks, months?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:27 ): I would be relying upon memory for a precise date; what am happy to do is find out what that date is and, if it is appropriate to do so, gladly pass it on to the honourable member.

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