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New laws making it more difficult for alleged domestic violence offenders to be released on bail, have been passed in the NSW Parliament.

The changes reverse the presumption of bail for those charged with serious offences attracting a maximum penalty of 14 years or more in jail. 

Those charged with these offences will now have to show cause as to why they should not be detained. 

If they are released on bail, the NSW Government says alleged offenders in this category will be subject to electronic monitoring, unless the bail authority is satisfied there are sufficient reasons in the interests of justice, for the condition not to apply. 

The show cause bail provision will apply to coercive control, which is due to become a criminal offence from 1 July. 

Under the reforms, all bail decisions (not only DV matters) will be made by magistrates and judges, rather than registrars. 

The government says up to six new magistrates will be employed and further funding will be provided to ensure audio-visual link facilities are available for bail hearings in remote areas. 

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said the reforms complement other measures to improve prevention and support. 

“Domestic, family and sexual violence is preventable, and we continue to look for ways to better support the safety of women and children,” she said. 

In reference to the magistrate or judge bail decision measure, Attorney General Michael Daley said, “This is not a criticism of registrars, who perform important work for their communities. 

“These changes to the bail framework are a critical step in addressing domestic violence in NSW,” he said.