Cairns has been announced as the sixth regional Queensland centre to receive a specialist domestic and family violence (DFV) court.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said Cairns was one of the busiest courts in Queensland – regularly dealing with a high volume of DFV matters – and would benefit greatly from having a specialist DFV magistrate court.
The Gold Coast became the site of the state’s permanent first specialist DVF court in 2017 – after a successful two-year trial at Southport. Since then, specialist DFV courts have been established at Beenleigh, Townsville, Mount Isa and Palm Island.
Ms Fentiman said the Queensland Government had committed $13.4 million over four years to roll-out new specialist courts across the state to deal exclusively with DFV matters.
She said the design and operation of the Cairns Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court would be informed by the operations of existing specialist courts.
“This model ensures victims attending court can have confidence the experience won’t further traumatise them,” Ms Fentiman said. “It means women are supported through the legal system, instead of getting lost in it.”
As part of the announcement, Ms Fentiman said the Cairns Courthouse would undergo renovation and upgrades to improve victim safety and ensure facilities were modern and functional.
“With one of the busiest magistrates courts in Queensland, which deals with a high volume of DFV matters, Cairns will benefit from this specialist court,” she said.