Attorney General announces review to toughen child-sex laws

QUEENSLAND'S sex offender laws will undergo an immediate review as part of the Newman Government's commitment to making this state the safest place to raise a child.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said particular focus would be on the former Labor Government's Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003.

"For victims of sexual offenders, Queensland seems to have a legal system, not a justice system.

"The dangerous prisoners legislation brought in by Labor just isn't meeting community standards. When you have the worst of the worst sex offender being released, that isn't good enough.

"We are going to put it under the microscope with a view to making it as tough as possible.

"The Newman Government promised Queenslanders that we would make this state the safest place to raise a child and we share the community's frustration when offenders walk free.

"For too long the scales of justice have weighed too heavily in favour of the offender, not the victim. We are changing that.

"I will continue to consult with the legal fraternity and child advocacy groups to achieve this.

"Within just 20 months we have already implemented some of the toughest legislation in the country.

"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 and 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."

Other reforms include:

  • A new offence of grooming a child under 16 years, carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment
  • Increased maximum sentence for offences against children with a mental impairment from 14 years to life imprisonment
  • Increased maximum sentence for child exploitation material offences from 5 years to 14 years imprisonment
  • Increased maximum sentence for procurement of a child from 5 years to up to 14 years imprisonment

"These types of heinous crimes require tough laws and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure our kids are safe," Mr Bleijie said.


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