Parliament passes tough parole laws for WA’s worst killers

  • Sentence Administration Amendment (Multiple Murderers) Act 2018 passes through WA State Parliament
  • Attorney General will be able to direct that mass murderers and serial killers must not be considered for parole or re-socialisation during their term of appointment
  • Key election commitment intended to limit trauma to survivors, family and friends of murder victims

The McGowan Labor Government has delivered on yet another key law and order election commitment, with tough laws dealing with parole for Western Australia’s worst killers passing through the State Parliament.

Under the new laws, the Attorney General will be able to instruct the Prisoners Review Board to suspend the assessment, consideration or reporting for parole or a re-socialisation program for mass murderers and serial killers for up to six years at a time.

The reforms will alleviate the trauma and suffering that survivors and secondary victims of homicide must endure every three years under the existing parole regime.

Mass murderers and serial killers are defined as those who commit three or more murders on the same day or two or more murders on separate days, respectively.

As noted by Attorney General John Quigley:

“In 2017, WA Labor went to the election seeking a specific mandate for tougher parole laws for serial killers and mass murderers and we were elected overwhelmingly on that mandate.

“These reforms amend the Sentence Administration Act 2003 (WA) so that an Attorney General may direct that mass murderers and serial killers not be periodically considered for parole every three years, but to defer consideration for six years with the capacity for further deferrals every six years.

“The new laws are designed to reduce the trauma suffered by survivors and secondary victims of mass and serial murder. In no other State of Australia can the Attorney General direct the Prisoners Review Board not to consider parole.

“In framing this extreme measure, we confined it to mass murderers and serial killers in line with our election commitment.

“I will be writing to the Prisoners Review Board to defer Catherine Birnie’s parole consideration, which is due on February 1, 2019, for six years. At the expiration of the six years, whoever is Attorney General can defer it for a further six years if he or she thinks it’s appropriate.

“I am pleased that the McGowan Government has delivered this important election commitment which has received widespread support from the WA community.”

Attorney General’s office – 6552 6800

/Public Release.View in full here.