Queensland’s Labor opposition leader says law makers should seriously consider longer jail terms without parole for pedophiles.
Queensland’s opposition leader says tougher punishment for convicted child sex offenders needs to be looked at following the sentencing of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s killer.
Serial pedophile Brett Peter Cowan was sentenced last week to life imprisonment with a 20-year non-parole period for the December 2003 murder on the Sunshine Coast.
While the sentence was longer than the minimum 15 years without parole, Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is preparing to appeal against it and to introduce tougher sex offender laws.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says Labor would be open to longer jail terms.
“If we can toughen up parole and penalties, it’s something we need to seriously look at,” she told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.
“We will look at any sensible options that the government presents to us. But we want it open and transparent and we want to make sure that people get consulted.”
Ms Palaszczuk, who has previously criticised the Liberal National Party government for rushing through sex offender laws, hoped Mr Bleijie wasn’t cashing in on the Morcombe family’s grief.
“I hope he is not politicising a tragedy,” she said, adding she didn’t want this to happen to another family.
Queensland judges have had the power to keep repeat sex offenders in jail indefinitely since 1945. But Cowan served only 14 months of a two-year sentence for molesting a seven-year-old boy at a Brisbane park in 1987.
Six years later, he violently sodomised a six-year-old boy in Darwin, serving only half of a seven-year jail sentence.