Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Advisory council members give community greater input into sentencing

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    Advisory council members give community greater input into sentencing

    A new era in Queensland’s criminal justice system has started today with the appointment of 12 members to the state’s first Sentencing Advisory Council.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick said the council was a key part of the Bligh Government’s plans to strengthen the state’s sentencing regime.

    “The Sentencing Advisory Council will give the community a stronger voice in sentencing issues in Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

    “We have assembled a very capable group with expertise in and experience with criminal law, indigenous and juvenile justice, domestic violence, law enforcement and victims of crime to provide advice to the government on important sentencing issues.

    “The council’s first task will be to provide recommendations to the government about standard minimum sentences for a range of serious crimes.”

    Mr Dick said the council’s inaugural chairperson was respected academic Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, the dean of the Faculty of Law at Bond University.

    “Professor Mackenzie is a distinguished legal academic and has a detailed understanding of the criminal law and sentencing,” he said.

    “The council also includes victim advocates Beryl Crosby, Jonty Bush and Christy McGuire, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson and Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan SC.”
    [See full list of council members below]

    Mr Dick said council members were formally appointed by the Governor-in-Council yesterday after expressions of interest were sought from the community.

    “The quality of applicants was very high and narrowing the field down to the final 12 members was very difficult,” he said.

    “However, I am pleased that the final group has a good blend of expertise, experience, common sense and practical knowledge, as well as regional and metropolitan members.

    “A key role of the council will be to promote consistency in sentencing, stimulate public debate and raise awareness of the complexities of the sentencing process.”

    The council’s first meeting is expected to be held before Christmas.

    Media contact: Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3487

    The members of the inaugural Sentencing Advisory Council are:

    Geraldine Mackenzie (chairperson) – Professor Mackenzie is currently the Dean, Faculty of Law, Bond University. Before this she was Foundation Head, School of Law, University of Southern Queensland.

    Christy McGuire – Ms McGuire is the co-ordinator of the Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre. Before this, she provided support to female victims of sexual assault, and was involved with the Immigrant Women’s Support Service.

    Jonty Bush - Ms Bush has worked for the Queensland Homicide Victim’s Support Group, including as the Chief Executive Officer. She was named Young Australian of the Year in 2009 for her work supporting victims of crime.

    Beryl Crosby – Ms Crosby is the president and spokesperson for the Bundaberg Hospital Patient Support Group. She is also a member of the Bundaberg Health Community Council, and Health Consumers Queensland (a consumer advisory body to the Minister for Health).

    Nicholas Tucker – Mr Tucker has been a member of the Protect All Children Today board since 2005, undertaking the role of chairperson for the past two years. PACT represents the interests of child victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system. Mr Tucker is also a barrister, with experience liaising with members of Indigenous communities.

    Jeff Hunter SC – Mr Hunter is one of Queensland’s leading criminal barristers and has extensive experience practising in the criminal law area. He worked for a number of years as Deputy Public Defender at Legal Aid Queensland. He has also been a Crown Prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr Hunter moved to the private bar in 1999.

    John Allen – Mr Allen has been a barrister since 1986, and has recently been appointed as Public Defender at Legal Aid Queensland.

    Kevin Cocks – Mr Cocks is the director of Queensland Advocacy Incorporated and is well regarded for advocacy for disadvantaged people, particularly those with a disability. In 2005, he was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

    Bob Colless – Uncle Bob Colless, of Cairns, is well versed in Indigenous justice issues and is the current deputy chair and manager of Gumba Gumba. Gumba Gumba is the Cairns and District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Elders and the Cairns Community Justice Group, which operates programs to support the Indigenous community, and has strong links with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. Uncle Bob is also involved with the Cairns Murri Court as an Elder.

    Bob Atkinson APM – Mr Atkinson has been Queensland Commissioner of Police since 2000.

    Tony Moynihan SC – Mr Moynihan has been Director of Public Prosecutions since 2008. He has previously held the positions of Crown Prosecutor within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Deputy Public Defender with Legal Aid Queensland.

    Kelvin Anderson – Mr Anderson was appointed Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner in February 2009 after serving as Commissioner of Corrections Victoria.