The Queensland government will seek to make tough sex offender laws more stringent in a bid to keep rapists such as Robert Fardon behind bars.
The Queensland government has lost the battle to keep serial rapist Robert Fardon behind bars, but the war is not over.
Premier Campbell Newman says the state would seek further legal advice to strengthen laws to keep dangerous sex offenders and pedophiles jailed.
“We will not lay down and roll over and give up the fight, and we will seek advice on ways we can do that,” Mr Newman said.
While the premier didn’t want to speculate on whether possible new legislation would target Fardon again, Acting Attorney-General David Crisafulli says they’ll look at every single avenue to change legislation.
“To make sure we protect the community from the worst of the worst. Blokes like this belong behind bars,” he said.
The state was forced on Thursday to abandon plans for a High Court challenge to return Fardon to prison, after their legal advice warned it wouldn’t win.
It was a further blow, after the Court of Appeal ruled in December the government’s new powers to bypass the courts to keep dangerous sex offenders jailed indefinitely were invalid.
Fardon, 65, has been living in supervised accommodation since December and is only allowed out for essential trips accompanied by an escort and can’t leave his front door without permission.
He also wears a GPS tracker.
He has spent most of his adult life in prison for sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967, when he was 18.
In 2003 he became the first prisoner detained indefinitely – subject to periodic review – under new laws designed to keep the state’s worst prisoners locked up.
National child protection advocate Bravehearts says it will push the Queensland government to make tough sex offender laws even tougher.
Bravehearts criminologist Carol Ronken says new laws are needed to ensure serious offenders are only released when psychological evaluations are unanimous that the level of risk to the community is low.
“We have the legislation in place to continually detain repeat, serious offenders like Fardon, but unfortunately it has not been honoured by the courts,” she said.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk wants Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie fired for botching the laws.
“The know-it-all Attorney General has all the solutions and all the answers. He now has egg on his face,” she said.
“We need a fresh start and a new Attorney-General who is prepared to sit down and get these laws right.”