Queensland Law Society

QLS calls on review of parole system to be comprehensive

Date 09 Aug 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts has backed the Labor Palaszczuk Government’s plan to review the state’s parole system – but has recommended the review to be comprehensive if it was achieve results.

Society president Bill Potts said QLS had called for a review several weeks ago and was delighted the government had seen the merits of its argument.

His comments follow Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcement today (Tuesday August 9) that Cabinet had agreed to immediate actions and terms of reference for a review on the operation of parole following the alleged murder 81-year-old Townsville grandmother Elizabeth Kippin by Anthony George O’Keefe, 23, while on parole last month.

Ms Palaszczuk and Corrective Services Minister Bill Byrne said Cabinet had endorsed the expansion of the role of the existing Office of the Chief Inspector within Queensland Corrective Services to investigate incidents involving offenders on parole, and the supervision and management of parole generally.

“Elizabeth was a much-loved member of her community and my heart goes out to her family and friends,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This case has affected me personally, and I know it’s affected many Queenslanders. My Government is determined to get to the bottom of what happened.

“We will immediately grant the Chief Inspector expanded powers to investigate incidents involving offenders on parole."

Mr Potts said: “QLS called for this review several weeks ago, and it is good to see that the government is listening.”

“That said, the review needs to look at all the factors which affect the operation of the system.”

Mr Potts said the protection of the public was paramount – meaning the review needed to look at all aspects of the system including how best to use scarce resources and the most effective methods of rehabilitating convicted persons within the system.

“If you have a young offender who is violent due to mental health issues which haven’t been addressed, it is unlikely he will spontaneously rehabilitate on release into the community,” Mr Potts said.

“Without proper monitoring and rehabilitation, the community remains at risk of further tragedies.”

Mr Potts said the review was a step in the right direction, and that Queensland Law Society stood ready to assist.

“The government’s sense of urgency on this issue is pleasing, and having called for this review the Society will help in any way we can; a safe, effective parole system is in everyone’s best interests.”


For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au.