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Enough is enough - Premier pledges a new deal for women in our justice system

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A high-level taskforce investigating coercive control laws will now go further, examining how women are treated in, and by, the system itself.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk took to Twitter this morning to announce the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, led by former judge Margaret McMurdo, would be given more time and broader scope to deliver greater change.

The move follows nation-wide controversy over the response of the criminal justice system, and institutions ranging from schools to Federal Parliament, to allegations of sexual assault and violence against women.

In parliament, Palaszczuk said that while her Labor government had already improved the response to domestic violence, criminalised revenge porn, increased police and support services and sought to improve education and awareness, “we always know that there is more work to be done”.

Palaszczuk said women were more likely to be victims of sexual violence, and faced barriers and traumas in seeking justice. The taskforce will examine their experiences as victims – and also offenders – and where more work is needed.

“We know this experience is different for women than it is for men,” Palaszczuk said.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said the recent public accounts of women, including Australian of the Year Grace Tame, had galvanised support for lasting change.

“I have been angry, disappointed and frustrated with some of the events of the last month,” Fentiman told parliament, making clear her belief the system was “still not supporting women”.

“Enough is enough.”

The taskforce will make recommendations on coercive control laws by October, and follow up with recommendations for systemic reform – including possible legislative changes – by March. Palaszczuk said Queensland continued to lead other jurisdictions in important system and social change.

McMurdo will be joined on the taskforce by experts including Deputy Police Commissioner Tracy Linford, Queensland Sexual Assault Network Deputy Director Di MacLeod, Brisbane Domestic Violence Service manager Kelly-Ann Tansley and Philip McCarthy, the acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.

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