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woman with bullying concept

70,000 cases clogging DV courts

DOMESTIC violence claims are clogging Queensland courts, driving a backlog of 71,093 cases queued before magistrates - with 8712 dragging on for more than a year.

Protecting victims from violent partners made up half the civil case workload for the state's magistrates in 2018-19.

Magistrates ruled on 30,700 DV cases - or 54 per cent of all civil cases finalised, the Productivity Commission reveals today in its latest report card on state government services.

Queensland magistrates' dockets were dominated by DV cases, which made up only 30 per cent of cases before magistrates in NSW, 25 per cent in Western Australia, 38 per cent in Victoria and 17 per cent in South Australia.

The Queensland Magistrates Court had 47,991 criminal cases and 23,102 civil cases pending in 2018-19, including 8712 cases that had languished longer than a year - more than any other state or territory.

In Queensland, 13 per cent of cases were more than a year old, compared to just 2.2 per cent in NSW and 8.3 per cent in Victoria. And more DV offenders in Queensland are defying the judiciary by flouting DV orders (DVOs).

Queensland Court statistics reveal that contraventions jumped from 13,363 in 2014-15 to 21,097 in 2018-19 - with another 11,175 breaches between June and December.

More than 13,000 offenders were convicted of contravening a DVO in 2018-19, yet barely a third went to jail.

The court data shows 1400 Queenslanders were charged with strangling a partner, with 857 imprisoned and 23 placed on probation.

Southport, Beenleigh and Pine Rivers are the DV hot spots of Queensland, the court statistics show.

The Southport Magistrates Court dealt with 2967 DV cases in 2018-19, with 1355 more cases in the six months to December. The number of DV court cases soared 17 per cent in Pine Rivers, to 1010 cases, and rose nearly 8 per cent to 1209 in Beenleigh.

In the Brisbane Magistrates Court, DVO applications rose nearly 5 per cent to 1951, with another 776 cases in Holland Park and 685 in Cleveland.

Nearly three-quarters of DVOs protected women from violence, and police took out 71 per cent of applications.


DVO applications lodged 2018-19 and 12-month change

Southport 2967 +0.75%

Beenleigh 2568 +7.72%

Brisbane 1951 +4.78%

Ipswich 1674 -3.29%

Townsville 1684 -8.13%

Cairns 1220 -1.85%

Caboolture 1079 +4.05%

Maroochydore 1014 -2.59%

Pine Rivers 1010 +16.9%

Rockhampton 960 +0.73%

Mackay 720 -4.38%

Toowoomba 773 -10.94%

Redcliffe 761 +0.4%

Holland Park 776 -0.13%

Cleveland 685 -6.8%

Richlands 724 +3.72%

Gladstone 622 -0.80%

Mount Isa 590 -9.79%

Hervey Bay 515 +2.79%

Bundaberg 589 -7.82%

Source: Queensland Courts

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