'HORRIFIED': Staggering increase in region's DV breaches
THE number of domestic violence orders breached in the Wide Bay region increased by more than eight per cent in 2018.
Last year, the Queensland Police Service recorded 1869 domestic violence order breaches across Wide Bay - 145 more than in 2017.
The upward trend is far from unique, with the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Townsville each following in a similar pattern.
Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer, said when perpetrators breached DV orders, they could "expect to be held accountable for their behaviour".
According to the State Government, recent figures showed a big drop in the number of people turning to DV and an almost 150 per cent increase in the numbers of offenders voluntarily accessing help over the past two years.
"While these early signs are encouraging, we need to see these trends continue over a number of years," Ms Farmer said.
But State Member for Burnett and Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Stephen Bennett, said it staggered him "that the government would think that it is 'encouraging' more people require rehabilitation for domestic violence offences".
"It isn't encouraging, it's horrifying," he said.
As a state, Queensland recorded 27,613 DVO breaches last year - a rise of 1,988 compared to in 2017.
The statistics come after it was revealed DV offenders on the Gold Cost could wait up to eight months to start a course aimed at stopping their behaviour, due to several programs being full.
Mr Bennett told the NewsMail he was shocked at the government's inaction when it came to tackling domestic violence, claiming more victims were at risk due to "Labor's soft approach".
"It's horrifying to hear that DV perpetrators aren't receiving vital rehabilitation courses for ... months - these delays are unacceptable and are putting victims at further risk," he said.
Ms Farmer said simply said "there are no wait lists for perpetrator programs in Bundaberg".
"Importantly also, more victims know where to access help," she said.
"The Palaszczuk Government has done more than any government before it to tackle the scourge of domestic violence.
"We are now just over three years into a $326 million, six-year program of reforms, implementing the 121 recommendations for government arising from the Not Now, Not Ever report.
"To date, we have completed 95 of the recommendations including the establishment of perpetrator programs - with 26 under way."