Labor vows to reform parole laws
Labor has pledged to reform WA’s parole laws to ensure serial killers or mass murderers would not be considered for parole.
Serial killer Catherine Birnie, who will be eligible for parole consideration again in 2019, would be first on the list.
In a move made in the light of a campaign by Birnie survivor Kate Moir, shadow attorney-general John Quigley said that if elected, a Labor government would amend existing laws that allowed even the worst killers to be considered for release every three years.
Under the changes, an attorneygeneral could tell the Prisoners Review Board not to consider parole in cases of serial killing.
That would be defined as two or more murders on different days or, in the case of mass killing, two or more murders on the same day.
The parole consideration ban would last for the term of that government.
Mr Quigley said if he became attorney-general, Birnie would be the first person he would make the subject of an order.
“She might well never be released but she is still considered every three years, which is traumatic for victims and relatives of victims,” Mr Quigley said.
Ms Moir was 17 when she was snatched from a Perth street and sexually assaulted by Catherine Birnie and her partner David, who had already killed four young women.
The pair were captured after Ms Moir escaped and alerted police.
Ms Moir launched a campaign last year to try to halt what she said was the regular “retraumatisation” of victims who were asked about the possibility of parole for their attackers.
An online petition has been signed by more than 40,000 people.
Attorney-General Michael Mischin said last week he had told Ms Moir he would not change the laws.
“I have given (Ms Moir) an explanation on why, in the public interest, changing to no reviews in some cases was not practical or desirable,” he said.