Tougher laws for sex offenders

IPSWICH’S experience in housing notorious pedophile Robert John Fardon was highlighted during a parliamentary debate on new laws for dangerous sex offenders.

Rapists and child sex offenders deemed dangerous by courts will face longer sentences and closer supervision under the laws, which were passed on Thursday night.

Deputy Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg blasted the fact that it had taken so long for the bill to be passed, about 12 months after it was introduced to Queensland Parliament.

In the year between the bill’s two hearings, Fardon, a pedophile branded as one of Queensland’s worst sex offenders, was sentenced for slipping his supervision and raping an intellectually handicapped woman, Mr Springborg said.

Before that, Fardon was “poorly supervised” when released from jail for previous crimes and placed in Ipswich on October 31, 2007.

“Fardon’s release became a spectacle for all to see as he was run out of the streets in Ipswich where he was placed,” Mr Springborg said.

“Six months later, in April 2008, Fardon was charged with the rape of an intellectually handicapped woman. Keep in mind ... that only a few months before this rape, this government said it would be watching this character like a hawk.”

Fardon’s release into an Ipswich house raised the ire of the community. Fellow pedophile Dennis Ferguson was also run out of Ipswich in 2005.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick said the reforms ensured offenders would not be released to supervision unless Corrective Services officers could ensure the community would be protected.

“These amendments establish a new threshold test when judges are deciding whether to make a detention or supervision order,” he said.

The mandatory supervision period of at least five years recognises that dangerous sex offenders are most likely to re-offend in the first five years of release.

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