I speak in support of the amendments to the Crimes (High Risk) Offenders Act 2006 in the High Risk Offenders Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, which was introduced last week by my colleague the Attorney General. These important amendments to include serious strangulation offences in the Crimes (High Risk) Offenders Act will enable offenders serving terms of imprisonment for serious strangulation offences to be eligible for continuing detention orders or extended supervision orders after they have served their sentence. Strangulation offending is a significant indicator of increasingly severe domestic and family violence. Research shows that the presence of non-fatal strangulation events within intimate relationships is a risk factor for intimate partner homicide. I understand that someone who survives non-fatal strangulation by a current or former partner is a staggering seven times more likely to be seriously injured or murdered by that partner. The amendments will expand the NSW Police Force's ability to seek continuing detention orders and extended supervision orders for offenders who commit serious strangulation offences, allowing for the increased targeting of domestic violence offenders.

As the Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism, I know all too well the impact that domestic and family violence is having right across New South Wales. In the 12 months to December 2022, there were more than 180,000 domestic violence related incidents reported. Over the same period, police recorded more than 33,000 domestic violence related assaults, the majority of which were against women. On average police were responding to a call for assistance for a domestic violence incident every four minutes. The most troubling part of those statistics is that police advise me that domestic and family violence is the most underreported crime. That means that the true scale of the terror being experienced in homes across this State every day is likely much larger.

The police are doing everything they can to improve the safety of victims of domestic violence and to hold perpetrators, in particular high-risk and recidivist offenders, to account. The NSW Police Force is also undertaking significant organisational reforms which focus on prioritising the safety of victims and targeting those who perpetrate violence. The force has established a Domestic and Family Violence Registry, the first of its kind in Australia, to drive targeted prevention, disruption, and investigation responses to domestic and family violence. The NSW Police Force is also targeting the State's most dangerous domestic and family violence offenders through Operation Amarok. Operation Amarok, which has run four times this year, is a statewide operation designed to focus on the most dangerous domestic violence offenders where their violent intent, capability and access to victims is at an elevated threat level. In total, over the four operations police ran this year, they arrested 2,333 offenders and laid more than 4,185 charges. Police completed 19,082 apprehended domestic violence order compliance checks and 5,567 domestic violence bail compliance checks.

Our police are working tirelessly to keep victims safe and to hold perpetrators to account, and I thank them for their relentless efforts. They need every tool available to them to take on this pervasive community safety issue, which is why amendments like the ones in this bill are so important and valuable. But responding to domestic and family violence is not just a job for police; it is a whole‑of‑society issue. Domestic violence is not something we can simply arrest or sentence our way out of. It requires a sustained and coordinated approach to addressing the underlying drivers of violence against women, which we know include gender inequality, to prevent violence before it occurs. We all know that prevention is better than a cure, and that could not be truer when it comes to domestic and family violence. Every person has a role to play, whether that is in their friend groups, communities, organisations or institutions. It requires us all to challenge sexist attitudes, break down outdated and harmful gender stereotypes and advance gender equality and economic outcomes for women and girls.

Prevention is long-term work. It is generational. So, at the same time, our police and our courts need robust tools to hold people who use violence to account and to ensure that risks to community safety are managed appropriately. The proposed amendments to the Crimes (High Risk) Offenders Act 2006 are evidence-based and focused on high-risk offending, and they are further evidence of the Minns Labor Government's deep commitment to reducing domestic and family violence. I thank the Attorney General for his work in introducing the bill, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to further strengthen protections for victims of domestic and family violence and to hold perpetrators to account. I am pleased that the Opposition will support this very important piece of legislation. I commend the bill to the House.