A high-profile man accused of rape could lose his anonymity under new laws to be introduced into the Queensland parliament this week.
Queensland is one of the last Australian jurisdictions that prevents a person charged with serious sexual offences from being named until they are committed to stand trial.
Guardian Australia has learned new laws being introduced to change this would be retrospective, meaning accused rapists could be named as soon as the laws come into effect if they continue to face charges.
Committal proceedings for the high-profile man, who is accused of two counts of raping a young woman in October 2021, have been before the Toowoomba magistrates court this year.
A bid by a group of media companies seeking leave to name the accused man was rejected by the court in February as premature.
Last week the court heard lawyers for the accused would seek access to information from his alleged victim’s phone.
He remains on bail and the case will return to court on 28 June.
With a bill expected to be introduced this week, Guardian Australia understands the new Queensland laws are expected to pass in August or September. They would probably take a few months to commence.
The legislative change was one of 188 recommendations from the state’s Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce.
One victim, who was still awaiting a committal hearing more than three and a half years after making a complaint, was quoted in the taskforce’s report regarding the “painful” impact of the anonymity afforded to people charged.
“He can continue his life under protection of the legal system, but we cannot even be told why our committal hearing has been adjourned. The imbalance in this system is astounding.”
The former attorney general Shannon Fentiman – now Queensland’s health minister after a cabinet reshuffle last week – said she was “looking forward” to the introduction of the “significant piece of legislation”.
“I’m really proud of the reform from the Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce and overhauling our criminal justice system, and I will be there to see all of that implemented,” she said.
Victims or accused perpetrators would still be able to make an application to the court not to be named.
Guardian Australia has contacted the lawyer of the Toowoomba man for comment.