Queensland children will be better protected under tough new laws aimed at repeat child sex offenders.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the The Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, which was passed by Queensland Parliament on Thursday, provides police with the tools to identify and respond to risk posed by child sex offenders living within the community.
“This legislation forms part of the 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.
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“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 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.
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.”