New legislation to protect the community

Published Wednesday, 16 October, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

Victims and the community will be protected under amendments to legislation that will keep Queensland’s worst sex offenders off the streets.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said amendments to the Criminal Amendment Act 1945 will allow Governor in Council to detain a dangerous sex offender indefinitely if it is in the public interest.

“This legislation will be reserved for the worst of the worst,” Mr Bleijie said.

“It will be another layer of protection from predators who are a risk of reoffending, if all other legal avenues are exhausted.

“Under the amendments, Governor in Council will be able to make a public interest declaration on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and detain a dangerous sex offender.

“Offenders subject to a public interest declaration will be examined annually by two psychiatrists, who then report to the Attorney-General on his or her risk of reoffending.

“The detained person will also be able to make a submission to the Minister.

“The public interest declaration will remain in effect until Governor in Council decides to lift it.

“Its rulings are final and conclusive and cannot be reviewed other than for jurisdictional error by the Supreme Court.

“The decision to make these amendments was made following careful consideration with community safety at the forefront of our minds.”

Mr Bleijie said the Criminal Law Amendment (Public Interest Declaration) Amendment Bill 2013 would be introduced in Parliament today.

“The Newman Government is committed to protecting the public from sex offenders and we now have some of the toughest anti-sex offender laws in Australia,” he said.

“Our two strike policy means repeat child sex offenders now face mandatory life in prison.

“If they are convicted of a sexual crime punishable by life imprisonment then commit a like offence after being released, they will receive a mandatory life imprisonment and will not be eligible for parole for 20 years.

“We want to make Queensland the safest place to raise a child and these types of heinous crimes require tough laws.”

[ENDS] 16 October 2013

Media Contact: Ashley McDermid 0412 731 355 or Katherine Hornbuckle 0402 862 351