Convicted sex offenders will face tougher reporting conditions following their re-release into the community under legislation introduced into State Parliament today.
The Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Amendment Bill 2007 will strengthen travel reporting obligations, electronic communication identification requirements and add to the number of reportable offences.
Community Safety Minister John Kobelke said the amendments would strengthen the provisions established in the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 and provide greater powers for the ongoing monitoring of convicted sexual offenders.
“It is important that convicted offenders are able to be closely monitored by police and the amendments will place a greater burden on the individual to show that they are not reoffending,” Mr Kobelke said.
“Any breaches of the new conditions could result in a maximum penalty of $12,000 fine and two years imprisonment.”
The travel reporting changes will require offenders to report details of any travel within the State of seven days or more away from their normal place of residence; to provide their passport and travel documentation upon return from traveling outside of Australia; and to notify of all travel outside of the State regardless of the duration.
The Minister said the proposed amendments also required offenders to provide details of telephone numbers, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, on-line chat names and internet service providers accessed. Additionally, they must also provide details of every website they accessed using their real name, an alias, an email address or a chat name.
A number of recently created offences, targeted at child sex offenders, were not included in the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004. Mr Kobelke said the amendments would include cyber predator offences, child sex offender consorting offences and child sex offender loitering offences.
“The amendment Bill will also retrospectively class people convicted for cyber predator offences prior to the Bill as a reportable offender and make them accountable to the new conditions,” he said.
“The Carpenter Government is committed to protecting the community from such atrocious criminal acts and will place the onus on the reportable offender to prove they are not reoffending.
“The advancement of technology has enabled an undesirable element of the community to prey on others from afar and these laws will help destroy their web of harm.”
Mr Kobelke said he hoped the Parliament would be able to work quickly through the legislation in the new year to enable its enactment by mid- 2008.
Minister's office: 9222 9211