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Mark Ryan refuses to apologise over security failure

Mark Ryan at Parliament Question Time — Labor will ensure Corrections give priority to the reforms. Pic Annette Dew
Mark Ryan at Parliament Question Time — Labor will ensure Corrections give priority to the reforms. Pic Annette Dew

CORRECTIVE Services Minister Mark Ryan is refusing to apologise and answer questions about how a Gold Coast woman only found out through Facebook that an abusive ex-partner had been released early from jail.

The Bulletin's front page report on how the frightened woman had been forced into hiding was tabled in parliament by Opposition leader Tim Nicholls as the LNP frontbenchers called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to sack Mr Ryan.

When asked to apologise to the victim, Mr Ryan said Queensland Corrective Services was "acting in accordance with new legislation" and he was working on how to better promote a Victims Register.

But the Bulletin can reveal the Government last night updated its website on the Victims Register for the first time since November 10, 2016. New laws were passed in March inviting DV victims to sign up.

Opposition prevention of domestic and family violence spokeswoman Ros Bates last night said Labor could not blame victims for failing to sign up.

"What more evidence do Queenslanders need that Labor have abandoned domestic violence victims than to look at the out-of-date corrective services website that has wrong information about who is eligible to get parole alerts," she said.

"Tough new laws were passed in March 2017 and now six months later the information for victims hasn't been updated since November 2016.

"It's a joke and exposes Mark Ryan as a complete fraud as a minister and shows Annastacia Palaszczuk doesn't care about domestic violence victims."

The Bulletin yesterday asked Mr Ryan whether he would accept he had "done nothing in the last six months to get word out to DV victims of their rights to be included on the Victims Register".

The Minister was asked how many offenders had been released on parole in the past six months where an active DV order was in place and the victim not advised.

In a statement, Mr Ryan said: "I am very concerned by reports today that victims of domestic violence are not being made aware of the QCS Victims Register. It is simply not good enough.

"While this is an operational matter, I have directed the Acting Commissioner to work even more closely with peak bodies and key stakeholder groups to raise awareness of the Victims Register.

"I have been assured that QCS will prioritise this work.

"The Palaszczuk Government encourages all victims of domestic or family violence to apply to register with the Victims Register where the offender has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment, regardless of the offence."

In Parliament, Mr Ryan said the QCS was about to roll out promotional material in courthouses and police stations.

To register, victims can contact QCS on the freecall number 1800 098 098 or email Victims.Register@dcs.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  domestic violence dv mark ryan qld politics tim nicholls

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