Robert John Fardon
Robert John Fardon File

KEEP US FARDON-FREE': MP demands serial rapist's location

ADAMANT on keeping Bundaberg "Fardon-free", Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has demanded the State Government release the whereabouts of notorious rapist Robert John Fardon.

News Fardon was living without supervision somewhere in Queensland without the public's knowledge sparked outrage among Queenslanders this week.

The serial Queensland rapist was released from a supervision order by a Supreme Court judge last Wednesday - a decision that was kept secret under a court gag order for a week.

Mr Bennett hit out at the secrecy surrounding Fardon's freedom and location, claiming the Queensland Government was "playing Russian roulette" with people's lives.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to tell Queenslanders the general whereabouts of where Fardon is living, and I want to clearly state that he is not welcome in Bundaberg," he said yesterday.

Mr Bennett yesterday told the NewsMail Fardon should "never have been allowed out in the first place", pinning the rapist's release on the "clear failure of the weak and lazy Palaszczuk Government".

Fardon's sexual offending spans 40 years and includes the rape of a 12-year-old girl, a woman and a 61-year-old intellectually-disabled woman.

 

Robert John Fardon riding the train.
Robert John Fardon riding the train. Channel 9

When he was first released from prison on a supervision order in 2013, Fardon was under a 24-hour curfew, but the conditions of the order were slowly loosened, eventually permitting him to go to local shops, ride public transport and visit a male day spa while being under constant GPS surveillance.

Last week's lifting of the order, however, means Fardon's whereabouts can no longer be tracked. Mr Bennett said it was distressing not knowing where Fardon was living.

"We need to know where Fardon is to keep our community and our children safe," he said.

"We need mandatory GPS tracking of offenders from the day they are released to the day they die, because I don't trust pedophiles to 'self-report' to police."

The MP said the LNP had consistently called for Fardon to remain locked up and permanently monitored, rementioning the party's bid for tougher protection laws against violent sex offenders last year.

The State Government refused to allow the Protecting Queenslanders from Violent and Child Sex Offenders Amendment Bill to be debated by Parliament in September last year.

"If Labor didn't play politics and passed the LNP's laws, this sadistic man would still be under lock and key. Instead he's been allowed out into the public," Mr Bennett said.

"As a father and grandfather, it disturbs me greatly when I see Labor put the community at risk by blocking the urgent passage of the LNP's tough laws for violent sex offenders."

Fardon's supervision period was initially meant to expire in October, however, a last-minute appeal by the State Government to extend the order saw that term extended until January.

The need for an appeal arose in August, when the Attorney-General's application to extend Fardon's supervision order was dismissed.

State Government response

POLICE know exactly where Robert John Fardon is.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Queensland Police Service would know where Fardon lived, travelled and the details of his phone and internet connections, social media accounts and passwords "for the rest of his life".

"The Palaszczuk Government has given the QPS an additional $25 million for the monitoring and surveillance of individuals who are named on the Child Protection Offender Register," Mr Ryan said.

"Robert Fardon's whereabouts are an operational matter for police."

After Fardon's supervision order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 ended on January 9, he immediately came under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004.

"If Fardon fails to meet his reporting conditions, he could face five years in jail," Mr Ryan said.

"Queenslanders can rest assured our state has the toughest post-conviction monitoring system in the country because of the amendments the Palaszczuk Government made to the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004 last year, and the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003."



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