I refer to the Townsville Bulletin story ‘State regrets Mason’s Law not enacted sooner. I applaud the Queensland Labor government on its success on passing this amendment to the existing law, all in all Thursday evening in the Queensland parliament was very interesting for what it did and didn’t do. Mason’s Law passed with support from the LNP and cross benchers, which was nice to see. However whilst they were on amendments to the law that now requires childcare workers to report suspected child sexual and physical abuse, a golden opportunity was missed to increase the penalties for such abuse from many months to many years.
The Child Safety Minister, Shannon Fentiman said it was part of a 10-year reform plan, sexually and physically abused children may not be able to wait for 10 years. We saw a case this year of a paedophile who received only 6 months in gaol for raping a 6 year old girl, and this seems to be occurring Australia wide, with extremely light sentencing for paedophiles, it’s nowhere near good enough to allow these creatures to blend back into ‘our’ communities, to put ‘our’ children at risk. Hopefully part of the decade long reform will address public expectations of sentencing on paedophiles, as the children they abuse receive a life sentence. These criminals must be held responsible for their actions.