The mother of Mandurah girl Hayley Dodd, who disappeared in 1999, has launched a petition to change WA’s parole laws, making it required for convicted murderers to divulge the location of their victim’s remains before receiving parole.
Ms Dodd launched the petition on Change.org on Thursday, and within four hours it had garnered more than 100 signatures.
The petition had more than 400 signatures within 24 hours, with 500 being the target.
The petition, which is directed at Member for Mandurah David Templeman and WA Attorney General Michael Mischin, calls for the adoption of a ‘no body, no parole’ rule, preventing convicted murderers from being released without information on their victim’s location.
“Western Australian residents draws to the attention of the House that under the current law persons convicted of murder may receive parole even though they refuse to disclose the whereabouts of the victim's body,” the petition says.
“This prevents the family of the victim from gaining any closure.
“There is a need to amend the Corrective Services Act… to provide that persons convicted of murder and other offences cannot obtain parole without disclosing the location of the victim's body.
“By making parole contingent upon the location of the body, it is hoped that this may give some closure to the victim's family and provide incentive for prisoners to co-operate with police and other authorities.”
The petition has drawn support from both local residents and nationally though social media, with a number of people showing support on the Change.org page.
“Why should a person who took the life of another yet then enjoy life on the outside with out giving closure to families,” commenter Tobi Meakins said.
“This makes no sense.”
In October, Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath approved the transfer of Francis John Wark to WA on the basis of allegations that Mr Wark was responsible for Hayley Dodd’s murder.
Mr Templeman said he would fully support Ms Dodd's attempt to change the law.
"I am very happy to support Margaret’s Petition because I think what she raises is very valid and has a great deal of merit," he said.
"I am very happy to receive the petition and present such a petition to the WA Parliament. There would be many in our community who would strongly support a “no body, no parole” clause in our criminal legislation.
"Such a move would assist families in their ongoing grieving for their loved one and for some assist in some form of closure."
Margaret Dodd's petition can be found here.