Parole board’s pledge as ruling nears on backpacker killer


The public will be told if Childers backpacker killer Robert Paul Long is released from jail, Queensland's parole board has confirmed.

Long was jailed for 20 years after the horrific fire which killed 15 backpackers in June 2000.

He has been eligible for parole since mid last year. 

Robert Paul Long
Robert Paul Long

The convicted killer, now aged 57, applied for parole over 120 days ago.

The board usually makes decisions within the 120-day time frame. 

Long requested further time to provide further material and was given until last week to submit documents that the parole board will consider.

Robert Paul Long
Robert Paul Long

Parole decisions are not usually made public however a Parole Board Queensland spokesman said if Long was granted parole a summary of its decision will be published online.

"If the board refuses parole a summary of the decision will not be published as the prisoner has a right of review as per the Judicial Review Act 1991," the spokesman said. 

Survivors of the horrific fire and former Isis mayor Bill Trevor handed the parole board more than 30 letters and a petition with over 17,000 signatures last year in a bid to stop Long's release.

Long was charged with arson and two counts of murder of twins Kelly and Stacey Slarke but not over the 13 other deaths.

Families and survivors called for Long to face further murder charges, however this has been ruled out by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Originally published as Parole board's pledge as ruling nears on backpacker killer