Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Former Treasurer; Attorney General

    Govt sex offender register passes Parliament

    8/03/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • WA public to soon have access to public sex offender website
    • State Govt delivers another election commitment with passage of the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Amendment Bill (No.2) 2011
    Western Australian families will soon have greater protection against known sex offenders living in their communities with today’s passing in State Parliament of the State Government’s Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Amendment Bill (No.2) 2011.

    For the first time the WA community will have access to a website that provides details, including photographs, of known reportable sex offenders who are non-compliant with their reporting obligations and whose whereabouts are unknown to WA Police.

    Attorney General Christian Porter said the legislation had been carefully developed to provide three tiers of protection to WA families against serious and dangerous sex offenders.

    “The first tier is open to the entire public to access and provides photographs and details of the most dangerous sex offenders who have gone underground,” Mr Porter said.

    “The second and third tiers have been specifically designed to offer parents greater protections and access to information about persons living in their communities or looking after their children.

    “The legislation strikes the right balance between the rights of the public to access information about sex offenders and the need to ensure those offenders can be appropriately managed by WA Police.”

    Tier 2 of the legislation enables a person to make a request through the website and be provided with the photograph of any high risk sex offenders living in their postcode and adjoining postcodes.

    Offenders that could appear on Tier 2 include those subject to dangerous sexual offenders supervision orders; those who have committed a further sex offence while already subject to reporting requirements; and those who have such a serious criminal conviction that the Commissioner of Police and the Police Minister agree they present a serious risk to the safety of the public which warrants the public being able to access their photo on the website.
     
    The Police Commissioner will have discretion to decide whether to publish eligible offenders’ photographs on the website.

    People who wish to access Tier 2 information must submit proof of their identity and their locality and must acknowledge information that becomes available will not be misused.

    Tier 3 is available to parents and guardians only as it allows them to find out if a person with direct access to their children is a reportable offender.

    Applicants must provide their full details, the identity of the person of interest and the level of contact that person has with the child.  Police will assess the request and determine if it is genuine. The Commissioner of Police will always retain discretion to determine whether disclosure should occur.
     
    If the person with access to the child is a reportable offender, the Sex Offender Management Squad of WA Police will contact the parent/guardian directly to advise them of this fact, and may attend the premises if the offender is in breach of their reporting obligations by being in contact with the child.
     
    “The passage of this legislation today is a clear win for the people of WA and the rights of parents to be able to access information that may protect their children from sex offenders in their community,” the Attorney General said.
     
    “The legislation was an election commitment and has been meticulously drafted to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to penalise persons who misuse the information placed on this website.”

    Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney said the legislation was a necessary measure towards keeping children safe in the community.

    “Child sex offenders do immeasurable damage and the State Government has a responsibility to protect vulnerable children from paedophiles,” Mrs McSweeney said.

          Fact File
    • The website is expected to be operational by July 2012

    Minister's office - 6552 5600