Family violence reform after mother's battle for change

Faith Tkalac fought for change after son Jari died when hit by a car driven by his on-off partner. (PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO)

For Faith Tkalac, it means no other family will have to fight and grieve at the same time.

Ms Tkalac has for years campaigned for law reform in Tasmania and an inquest after the death of her 26-year-old son Jari Wise at Huonville in 2020.

Mr Wise was struck by a car driven by his on-and-off girlfriend Melissa Oates, who served eight months' jail for dangerous driving, drink driving and failing to stop and assist in an accident.

She was found to not be legally responsible for Mr Wise's death as it could not be ruled out that he jumped in front of the car.

In May, the state's attorney-general ordered the circumstances around his death be examined by a coronial inquest, overruling a Supreme Court decision that one was not needed.

On Tuesday, the state government said it would pursue law changes to ensure deaths in which family violence is suspected are subject to an inquest.

Ms Tkalac had camped outside the offices of parliamentarians in her quest for the changes she calls 'Jari's law'.

She set up an online petition to "help our sons, brothers, fathers and uncles gain a voice loud enough to make a change".

"It took a bit of pushing to get there, but what it means is no other family will have to fight and try and grieve at the same time," she said.

"The community ... have been such a huge amount of support.

"I actually don't know I could have done it without everyone's backing. Everyone has had Jari's back and kept the fire lit."

Tasmania's Attorney-General Elise Archer said it was critical the government protected people exposed to family violence.

"Unfortunately, statistics show that family violence continues to play a role in a significant number of deaths each year," she said in a statement.

"However, for a range of reasons, it is sadly the case that the criminal justice system does not always provide answers about the circumstances of such deaths.

"The proposed amendments will ensure that deaths to which family violence has contributed can be appropriately examined, even where there are no criminal proceedings."

Ms Archer said the evidence-gathering powers of an inquest would improve the evidence base on deaths related to family violence.

The Labor opposition supports the government's proposed law changes, which have been released for public consultation.

The inquest into Mr Wise's death was expected to start on Monday but has been pushed back indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances.

Coroner Simon Cooper investigated Mr Wise's death and in July 2021 decided not to hold an inquest.

Ms Tkalac has argued it had never been established whether Mr Wise stepped out in front of the car or whether the crash was deliberate.

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