Politicians in Western Australia have passed legislation that will see the state join a national scheme to help keep victims of domestic violence safe.
WA has joined the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme, which will see all new restraining orders relating to domestic violence enforceable by Australian authorities in every state and territory jurisdiction.
The Domestic Violence Orders (National Recognition) Bill 2017 successfully passed through both houses of the WA Parliament last week.
WA Attorney-General John Quigley said the change was part of reducing “unacceptably high levels of family and domestic violence in our community”. He added that the scheme would also provide peace of mind to victims of domestic violence because it would remind them of their legal rights.
“The national scheme will be of benefit to victims who move interstate to escape family and domestic violence, or who travel interstate for other reasons,” the AG said.
From 25 November, the national scheme will remove the need to register these kinds of court orders across interstate boundaries. An application to the court can also bring orders made before this date within the national scheme.
“By joining the national scheme, victims of family and domestic violence will be able to get on with their lives secure in the knowledge that they have enforceable legal protection right across Australia,” Mr Quigley added.
About two years ago, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to the purpose of the scheme, which includes enhancing the accountability of perpetrators.
Simone McGurk, WA’s Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, said that the enabling legislation was a priority of the state Labor government.
“WA Labor has long been arguing for better protection for victims and due to the previous Liberal National government’s inaction, WA is the last state to enact enabling legislation to join the national scheme,” Ms McGurk said.
“This is an important and crucial step in ensuring that victims of family and domestic violence are afforded the protection they deserve, no matter where they live in Australia.”