News

Domestic violence: 'We should be ashamed'

Magistrate Damien Dwyer was one of the key speakers at the Mayor's DV Awareness Leadership Forum.
Magistrate Damien Dwyer was one of the key speakers at the Mayor's DV Awareness Leadership Forum. Jarred Sferruzzi

IT WAS a passing comment from Mackay Regional Council's mayor Greg Williamson that best described the exorbitant rate of domestic violence within our community.

In the 2015-16 financial year, police were called to 5533 incidents of domestic violence just in the Mackay and Northern Beaches area. So far this financial year that number sits at 4486.

Last month police attended 420 incidents and in May so far there have been 164.

The Mackay Magistrates Court oversees about 60 domestic violence orders a week. In recent months, the busiest day had 96.

Mackay's population is roughly 124,000 with about 90,000 over the age of 18.

Statistics aren't always the best way to discuss the scourge of domestic violence in a community, but it left a room full of Mackay's stakeholders silent at the Mayor's DV Awareness Leadership Forum on Friday as Superintendent Bruce McNab listed the staggering numbers of people impacted.

"In the current financial year we've spent 9308 hours simply driving to, attending, and driving back from incidents of domestic violence," Superintendent McNab said.

"That's about $250,000 in labour costs in this district alone.

"Today, domestic violence is the most common call for service we receive."

 

Superintendent McNab was one of four featured speakers at the forum which included Mackay Magistrates Court's Magistrate Damien Dwyer, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal CEO Steve Rae, and 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty.

Despite the different backgrounds of the various speakers, the main takeaway message was no government, group, or organisation could tackle the problem alone.

Mr Dwyer was scathing in his address and called domestic violence a "scourge" and explained the "explosion" in cases brought before the court lately.

"Queensland has seen a rise of about 20 per cent in domestic violence applications in recent times," he said.

"It would seem we're (Mackay) much higher."

He countered the stereotype of domestic violence as belonging to one segment of society when he said that, in his court, both victims and perpetrators had ranged from teenagers, to people in their 80s.

"They have included couples who have been married for decades," Mr Dwyer said.

"They are your parents, they are your spouses, they are your children, they are your sisters, they are your brothers, they are your family members, your friends and acquaintances, your team-mates and they are your work colleagues.

"They are the people you pass as you walk down the street, indeed, they are the people sitting in the audience here today."

Superintendent McNab agree and criticised those who tried to target any particular minority group.

"Media might report one religious group is more prone to domestic violence, but one thing we (police) do well is collect statistics and they prove it's across the board," he said.

The forum did have some positive moments when Mr Rae explained the steps his company had made in attempts to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace.

Aside from implementing extra leave entitlements and accommodation allowances, he said one of the most important areas a business can focus on was the first response; the reply an employee receives when they feel comfortable enough to discuss their situation.

The forum didn't finish with specific outcomes, but Mr Williamson promised the council would "keep the foot on the accelerator".

Chair of the Queensland Premier's Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council Dame Quentin Bryce spoke at a business breakfast last year.

"After the breakfast we had a taskforce meeting on November 25 that adopted a mission of our aim to make the community we live in safe for families and free from violence," Mayor Greg Williamson said.

"We had a couple of tasks out of that and one of those was to engage councils around Australia who are doing very well in this space.

Topics:  damien dwyer domestic violence greg williamson mrc police rosie batty


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Jail after boasts, mates rates for drug clients

McNamara's taser possession was a concern to Justice David Boddice.

Man who dropped out of school at 13 jailed for drugs, Taser

Change of scenery needed for city drug addict, court told

Cops previously caught Wilton after a wild and reckless ride in Ipswich

Prolific offending, wild driving linked to drug abuse, court hears

Region's talent on display at festival

MUSIC MEN: Festival committee vice-president Scott McConnell and president Lance Melksham get ready for the Charleville Performing Arts Festival.

Charleville Performing Arts Festival is set to run from August 24.

Local Partners

SEIZED: 4000 AK-47 rounds, guns buried underground

A CHICKEN coop on a rural Western Downs property was used to conceal thousands of AK-47 rounds, a cache of unregistered weapons, and dangerous drugs.

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes with police at Splendour

VIDEO: Police confirm an increase in the number of people attempting to conceal drugs inside their body at Splendour in the Grass music Festival.

FINAL CALL: Princes’ regret over last words to Diana

Prince William and Prince Harry have opened up about their mum, Princess Diana, in a new documentary. Picture: ITVSource:Supplied

Two princes regret rushing the last phonecall with their mother

New Terminator? James Cameron wants back on board

T2: Judgment Day, was the most expensive film ever made at the time

MasterChef’s Ben on drink-driving ban

Ben Ungermann and Diana Chan face off in the MasterChef Australia final tonight.

MasterChef finalist speaks out on drink-drive shame before cook-off

‘History-making’ Hah vows Ninja return

Stars of Australian Ninja Warrior Andrea Hah and Lee Cossey pictured near their home in the Blue Mountains.

Andrea Hah has vowed to return to Australian Ninja Warrior

Eddie McGuire opens up on his return to The Footy Show

Craig Hutchison.Source:News Corp Australia

EDDIE McGuire has addressed his return to The Footy Show

VIDEO: The 'Disco Boob' trend at Splendour

Scarlett McGrouther, 23, said the Disco Boobs design was empowering

VIDEO: Festival organisers forced to clarify policy on nudity.

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Townhouses planned for Nicklin Way site

CBRE's Brendan Robins and Rem Rafter on site at Wurtulla.

Prime 1.5ha Sunshine Coast property set for town homes development

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!