NSW commits to domestic violence register

A civil liberties group says the proposed NSW domestic violence offender register must be restricted to convicted culprits who are likely to reoffend.

In a first for Australia, NSW women will be able to check whether their partners have a domestic violence history on an offenders register, under a re-elected coalition government.

But a civil liberties advocate has already expressed concerns, saying the government must be careful private information from the register isn't published on social media.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said the register, which would start out as a pilot, would give people the right to ask police if they have concerns that their partner might pose a risk to them.

"We can't have a position where there are secrets anymore," Mr Baird told an International Women's Day breakfast on Friday.

"We must have transparency and we must give women the choice to respond on the basis of knowledge of that information."

Stephen Blanks, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said any register must be tightly regulated by the courts and only include offenders who pose a risk to the community.

"Otherwise anybody who is charged will plead not guilty and run every defence they can ... instead of undergoing counselling," he said

Access to the list should also be regulated.

"You don't want people getting information off the register and putting it on Facebook," he said.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley said he supported the idea of a register but said it must be a national scheme.

The Labor leader campaigned alongside Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday on NSW's north coast.

Ms Palaszczuk said there were many parallels between her stunning election win and the upcoming NSW poll.

"I came here today to deliver a very simple message: it can happen here in NSW as well," she told Labor's north coast campaign launch in Banora Point.

Mr Foley used the event to pledge $211 million on upgrading The Tweed Hospital to try to woo voters in The Nationals held Tweed electorate.

Voters in NSW head to the polls on March 28.

2 min read
Published 6 March 2015 at 10:32am
Source: AAP