Criminal Law Amendment Bill passed

CRIMINALS who murder a police officer in Queensland will now serve a minimum 25 years behind bars.

And drivers who evade police, resulting in chases, now face a mandatory $5000 fine and two-year licence disqualification.

The LNP passed the controversial Criminal Law Amendment Bill through parliament on Tuesday night after hours of debate.

In a speech made in the legislative chamber during the debate, Police Minister Jack Dempsey said courts now had the power to lock offenders away for longer which would provide deterrents against offending, reduce the number of reoffenders and protect officers in the Queensland Police Service.

"Policing is a challenging occupation and officers face a wide range of risks every day in the course of protecting the community," Mr Dempsey said.

"While an assault on anyone is a terrible thing, an assault on an officer is a disgraceful act which the Newman Government will not tolerate.

"Between 2007 and 2011, almost 13,000 assaults on police were reported. That's an average of one in every four officers being attacked."

But the bill met fierce debate from the Opposition who voted against the bill, attacking the LNP's decision to shut down Labor's Sentencing Advisory Council.

The council, and many people in the legal community, have expressed great concern about the effects of mandatory sentencing and the way it straightjackets judiciary from considering individual circumstances.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the council was doing important work and Labor would vote against the bill.

"We believe that the abolition of this important council is the wrong way to go," she said.

The maximum penalty for people who seriously assault police has now increased from seven to 14 years.

The non-parole period for murder has now increased from 15 to 20 years jail, and from 20 to 30 years jail for multiple murders.

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