Childers monster could be released in a matter of weeks


THE Queensland Parole Board has released a statement saying it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the parole application of Robert Paul Long.

On June 23, 2000, Long set The Palace Backpacker Hostel alight in Childers, killing 15 people.

This week, outraged survivors began a petition to keep Long behind bars in a last-ditch effort after he recently applied for parole.

Long was charged and convicted of arson and the murders of Kelly and Stacey Slarke, but was never charged for the other 13.

"Parole Board Queensland is aware that the parole application by Robert Long is of significant interest to the public, particularly victims and their families," the statement said.

"It would be inappropriate for the board to make comments in relation to the particulars of an application before it.

"The board has no role to play in, and no power to vary, sentencing decisions including setting parole eligibility dates.

"Those are matters exclusively for the courts."