Qld premier sidesteps 'woke' DV comments

Laine ClarkAAP
Annastacia Palaszczuk wouldn't criticise the police union for dismissing a domestic violence report.
Camera IconAnnastacia Palaszczuk wouldn't criticise the police union for dismissing a domestic violence report. Credit: AAP

The Queensland premier has refused to criticise the police union for dismissing a landmark domestic violence report as "woke", but left the door open for an inquiry into police culture.

The Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce report was handed down on Thursday, and made 89 recommendations including a call for the criminalisation of coercive control.

Taskforce chair and former Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo also recommended an inquiry into "widespread cultural issues" in the police force.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk refused to take aim at Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers for dismissing it as "another woke, out-of-touch report".

"A lot of time and effort went into this report, and a lot of people came forward and spoke about their harrowing stories," she told reporters on Friday.

"I thank the women who have come forward and shared their stories, these are deeply personal stories.

"That (comment) is a matter for him. I am committed to looking at the report and all the recommendations."

The premier didn't rule out a commission of inquiry into police workplace culture, saying her cabinet needed to read the report carefully before responding.

Mr Leavers denied there were widespread culture issues within the force, saying: "Police make mistakes, we are human."

He complained that the report didn't recommend making domestic violence a catch-all offence in Queensland, meaning the process of trying to convict offenders was tedious.

"Just another woke report to slam police at every opportunity, I reject that," Mr Leavers told Nine Radio on Friday.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman slammed Mr Leavers' dismissive comments about the report.

"Look, I don't think you can read those reports and listen to those women's voices, and call it 'woke'. I absolutely reject that," she told Nine Radio.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has also rejected the call for an inquiry into police culture, and she did not criticise Mr Leavers' "woke" comment.

"I don't know why he made those comments," she told reporters.

"But I know Ian Leavers normally heavily advocates on behalf of his people who are in the field who are predominantly doing an amazing job."

Ms Carroll said a probe into police culture could cost tens of millions dollars, money that would be better spent on areas like victim support and perpetrator rehabilitation programs.

She said domestic violence cases made up "40 per cent of our work" with police responding to more than 300 incidents a day in 2021, a 20 per cent increase from last year.

The commissioner said Justice McMurdo's findings were "absolutely devastating", but added 10 of the 17 recommendations referring to police were already "in play".

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