No body no parole? Morcombes' support for hard-line law

Denise and Bruce Morcombe, parents of Daniel, talk to students at St Mary's College.
Denise and Bruce Morcombe, parents of Daniel, talk to students at St Mary's College. Bev Lacey

QUEENSLAND killers who refuse to help authorities find where they have dumped their victim's body will have no chance of parole, with Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls accusing the government of being "soft on crime".

It has been dubbed the "No Body, No Parole" law.

It would apply to those in prison for murder or conspiracy to commit murder.

There have been 238 reported murders in Queensland since 2011.

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said it was time to put the rights of victims ahead of criminals, and it has won support from Sunshine Coast child safety warriors Bruce and Denise Morcombe, who spent more than a decade searching for their slain son Daniel.

His remains were uncovered following a sophisticated sting that ensnared Daniel's killer Brett Peter Cowan before he was convicted of the 13-year-old's murder after his abduction from the Sunshine Coast in 2013.

Mr and Mrs Morcombe joined the LNP to support the proposed change.

They said they had met families who "have not had the opportunity to say farewell to a murdered loved one".

Mr Morcombe told ABC Radio on Monday that their family put finding Daniel as their highest priority, followed by finding justice for his killer.

Mr Nicholls said the law would be shaped by consultation with victims groups, parole board and other key organisations involved in the state's justice system.

"This is all about criminals showing genuine remorse and giving families closure," Mr Nicholls said.

A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the "No body no parole" idea was being considered by the Sofronoff Parole review -- launched after a paroled prisoner killed 81-year-old Elizabeth Kippen in July.

"The government is considering this issue in a broader context than just at the time of parole, and is looking at options from the time of sentencing," she said.

Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls
Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls GLENN HUNT

South Australia has a similar law in place.

Other states including New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia were each considering their own version.

Opposition corrective services spokesman Tim Mander said the government "has sat idle with their heads in the sand, not wanting to upset the inner-city, bleeding heart brigade".

If a prisoner tries to cooperate but a body cannot be found, they may be granted parole if authorities consider their attempts to be sincere and include a last known location of the remains.

Topics:  crime editors picks justice murder

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