Member for Pumicestone Rick Williams fully supports these new laws to protect the most vulnerable in the community our children.

Tough new laws designed to help police prevent recidivist child sexual offending and protect our most vulnerable community members was passed by Queensland Parliament today.

The Child Protection (Offender Reporting) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill follows a statutory review of the Child Protection (Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2008 by the Crime and Corruption Commission and has been solely formulated to protect children.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Bill focusses on early intervention, disruption and prevention of recidivist child sexual offending and provides police the tools to identify and respond to risk posed by child sex offenders living within the community.

“This legislation forms part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to keeping Queensland children safe by giving police stronger powers to step in before sexual or other serious offences have been committed against a child,” Minister Ryan said.

“Police will now be able to to closely monitor reportable offenders and prevent child sexual offending by granting them access to electronic devices, should they suspect a reportable offender has committed an offence under the offender reporting legislation.

“Police will also be given the power, in certain circumstances, to inspect any device in the possession of a reportable offender.”

The legislation also provides the judiciary the power to determine a person a reportable offender, should they satisfy the applicable criteria.

“No longer will a person be able to escape this classification because they plead guilty to a lesser charge. We are committed to ensuring those who commit these atrocious crimes are held accountable for their actions,” Minister Ryan said.

The Bill will also put to an end the process where perpetrators of sexual and other serious offences against children have been granted the opportunity to personally cross-examine their victims during civil proceedings.

“We cannot tolerate these children (and often adult victims of historical child abuse) being re-victimised and have removed this process. We have also reduced the period a reportable offender can travel interstate, as there is no excuse for a convicted child sex offender to be unaccounted for for extended periods of time,” Minister Ryan said.

Further administrative amendments have been made to reporting conditions, including ensuring reportable offenders provide and allow to be photographed, key personal details including tattoos, a new car purchase or a change in their appearance.

Commissioner Ian Stewart said any initiatives that assisted officers on the front line would be welcomed.

“Our priority is keeping Queenslanders of all ages safe, but it is particularly important that we focus on the most vulnerable in our community, our children,” Commissioner Stewart said.

Denise and Bruce Morcombe said being on the front foot to protect children was vital.

“Daniel was murdered by a twice convicted paedophile,” Mr and Mrs Morcombe said.

“These planned measures are tough on predators and that is a good thing.

“It allows suspected child exploitation activity to be investigated swiftly, potentially reducing harm to our youngsters.

“The sharing of information between agencies that protect children will allow them to do the job they are commissioned to do unimpeded.”

A Bravehearts spokesperson said Bravehearts wholeheartedly support the recommended amendments that are a step forward in ensuring that the authorities have the power to protect the community.

“We are particularly pleased to see the increase in information sharing powers,” the spokesperson said.

“Many of the recommendations will assist in the monitoring and management of offenders who, due to their criminal history, pose a level of ongoing risk.

“We recognise that there has to be an holistic approach to managing offenders’ risk in the community and this Bill will certainly assist the authorities to be better equipped to do so.”

 

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