Office of the Independent Implementation Supervisor—WSJT reforms

In March 2021 the Queensland Government established the independent Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce)—chaired by the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC—to examine coercive control and review the need for a specific offence of ‘commit domestic violence,’ and the experience of women across the criminal justice system.

The Taskforce’s first report—Hear her voice – Report One – Addressing coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland (Report One)—was released on 2 December 2021. It identified fundamental systemic and structural issues in Queensland’s justice system relating to its approach to matters of domestic and family violence (DFV) and made 89 recommendations for broad systemic reform.

The Queensland Government response to Report One was released on 10 May 2022, supported by a $363 million funding commitment to implement the recommendations. The response outlines government ‘s commitment to support, or support in principle, all 89 of the report’s recommendations to further reform the justice and DFV service systems to ensure they keep victims safe and hold perpetrators to account.

Find more information about the Queensland Government response to Report One.

The Taskforce’s second and final report—Hear her voice – Report Two – Women and girls' experiences across the criminal justice system (Report Two)—was released on 1 July 2022. Report Two made 188 recommendations for government to improve women and girls’ experiences of the criminal justice system as victim-survivors of sexual violence and as accused persons and offenders.

On 21 November 2022, the Queensland Government released its response supporting 103 recommendations in full, 71 recommendations in principle, and noting 14 recommendations. A $225 million funding package was committed to implementing the responses being led across government.

Find more information about the Queensland Government response to Report Two.

In both of its reports, the Taskforce recommended the Queensland Government establish an independent implementation supervisor to oversee implementation of the government response.

The Queensland Government has committed to establish the Office of the Independent Implementation Supervisor (OIIS), and recently announced the supervisor will also oversee implementation of the government response to the report A call for change: Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence.

Interim Independent Implementation Supervisor

While a process to permanently appoint to the role of Independent Implementation Supervisor is being undertaken, in November 2022 the Queensland Government announced the appointment of Ms Linda Apelt as interim implementation supervisor for a period of 3 months.

Ms Apelt is a community and business leader, with extensive professional experience as Agent-General for Queensland, Trade and Investment Commissioner, CEO, Director-General and non-Executive Director. Ms Apelt’s experience spans international business and economic development, trade and investment, renewable energy policy, community, health and welfare services, housing policy and strategy, Library Services, superannuation, screen industry, higher education and the arts.

As a former long-serving Director-General with the Queensland Government, Ms Apelt oversaw enhanced service delivery in a range of portfolios including education, housing, health and community services, Indigenous policy and the arts.

Ms Apelt is Chair of Opera Queensland and a member of the Griffith University Council, and was formerly an Adjunct Professor with the Institute of Social Science Research at The University of Queensland. Ms Apelt holds a range of post graduate qualifications, including a Masters of Education Studies from The University of Queensland.

In her private capacity, Ms Apelt has lent her expertise and energies to programs which provide philanthropic services for people living with housing disadvantage experiencing DFV and young people in the arts.

OIIS progress report

This progress report considers the progress and adequacy of the Queensland Government’s response to Report One.

The report summarises Queensland Government agencies' approach to implementation, as well as challenges and opportunities. It outlines activities carried out by the OIIS since the Interim Independent Implementation Supervisor assumed the role on 28 November 2022, as well as an indicative OIIS work plan for early 2023.

According to the OIIS report, government agencies are making steady progress towards honouring the voices of everyone who shared their stories or contributed to the Hear her voice and A call for change reports.

Contact

For more information please contact the Office of the Independent Implementation Supervisor on email secretariat@oiiswsjtreforms.qld.gov.au.