New South Wales is expected to introduce new "no body, no parole" laws where convicted killers — like Chris Dawson — won't be granted parole if they refuse to help police locate their victim’s body.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said legislation will be introduced into parliament this week, to "stop inmates convicted of murder or homicide offences from getting parole unless they co-operate with police to end the torment of families and return to them the remains of their loved ones."
"Being unable to locate a loved one’s body is extremely distressing and traumatic for the families and friends of victims and it denies a victim the dignity of being laid to rest appropriately," Perrottet said in an official media statement on Tuesday.
Once passed, the laws would apply to all current and future inmates in NSW. Parole will only be granted by the State Parole Authority (SPA) after it's looked at written advice from the Commissioner of NSW Police Force, and other relevant information to determine whether the offender has co-operated with authorities to identify a victim's location.
The laws are modelled on laws in other jurisdictions. Currently Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have laws in place where parole can be refused to offenders if they don't disclose the location of victims' remains.
The issue has recently attracted more attention in NSW after former Sydney teacher Chris Dawson was convicted of murdering his wife Lynette Dawson in 1982.
At a judge-alone trial in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, August 30, Justice Ian Harrison said that after considering all evidence, he was satisfied Lynette Dawson was dead and that she died on or about January 8, 1982.
"I am left in no doubt. I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the only rational inference (is that) Lynette Dawson died on or about 8 January 1982 as a result of conscious or voluntary act committed by Christopher Dawson," the judge said.
The podcast had been unavailable in Australia since 2019 after Dawson was charged in order to ensure he had a fair hearing. Earlier this month news emerged that the podcast would be re-released over eight weeks, with a new episode each Saturday and Wednesday that will include some changes following the August 30 verdict.