Premier Campbell Newman says sex offender law critics are ‘apologists for paedophiles’

Premier Campbell Newman has hit back at critics of Queensland’s new sex offender laws, describing them as “apologists for paedophiles”.

Under the new sex offender laws, the state’s Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has the power to keep serious sex offenders in prison indefinitely, taking that role from the courts.

Yesterday, retired Supreme Court justice Richard Chesterman said giving the Attorney-General powers to keep sex offenders behind bars if they are released by the courts is bad law and bad policy.

Mr Chesterman also said the Act is an attack on the courts.

Mr Newman said yesterday Mr Chesterman was legally correct, but today he stopped short of repeating that.

“Philosophically, from an almost theoretical point of view about the law, I agree with Mr Chesterman,” he said.

But Mr Newman says the community supports tough action.

“The only people saying they’re against these laws are people who are apologists for sex offenders and paedophiles,” he said.

Mr Newman says critics are not offering alternative solutions.

However, Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says new sex offender laws should be repealed.

Ms Palaszczuk says Mr Newman must take note.

“The Premier conceded that Justice Chesterman is legally right,” she said.

“They should now repeal those laws – he needs to listen to the judiciary.

“If they’d had consultation, they could have got the laws right in the first place.”

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