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NSW Opposition's Bail Reform Proposals to Address Domestic and Family Violence

Recent high-profile violent crimes at the hands of intimate partners has brought the long-running horrific scourge of domestic and family violence to the forefront in recent weeks.

The time to act is now and we need to ensure we implement measures to protect victim/survivors from harm, intimidation and controlling behaviours.

The NSW Opposition has introduction into the NSW Parliament a suite of bail reform measures designed to address domestic and family violence, improve protection for victim/survivors and enhance community safety.

The Liberals and Nationals acknowledge that bail reforms specifically, and criminal justice reform more generally, is just one part of the a holistic, broader approach to addressing this issue.

However, we cannot delay - we need action now.

To that end we have proposed three immediate commonsense amendments that can strengthen the Bail Act 2013 and increasing protections, which are:

  1. Expanded use of electronic monitoring devices to bail on serious domestic violence charges.
  2. Expanding grounds for staying the granting of bail for serious personal violence charges.
  3. Removal of the power for registrars to determine bail for serious personal violence charges where bail is opposed, given the widespread audio-visual capacity across our courthouses enabling magistrates to make orders from centralised locations if necessary.

The Bail Amendment (Serious Personal Violence and Electronic Monitoring) Bill 2024 has now been introduced by the Liberals and Nationals into Parliament and we are committed to working in a bi-partisan manner to ensure these safety measures are implemented as soon as possible.

Our proposal provides for the extension of the current parole electronic monitoring to bail in cases of serious domestic violence charges. Research has shown that electronic monitoring reduced DV reoffending by 33%.

Victim/survivors need action now and we owe it to the community to ensure that we do not let this national crisis continue to worsen and grow.

Enough is enough.