In Legal Affairs

Victoria Minister for Corrections Andrew McIntosh

Coalition Government Strengthens Sex Offender Laws

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Coalition Government will today fulfil its promise to amend serious sex offender legislation to strengthen protection for children, families and the community.

Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh will introduce amendments to the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (SSO (DS) Act) to require judges to take into account new criteria when deciding whether to suppress the names and locations of serious sex offenders.

“These amendments will ensure that courts will have to take into account the protection of children, families and the community when deciding to grant suppression orders.” Mr. McIntosh said.

“Under these changes, judges will also have to assess the offender’s history of complying with orders, and their current whereabouts.”

The changes, relating to post-sentence sex offenders subject to supervision orders because of their risk to the community, were promised by the Coalition Government in April to address community concern about these suppression orders.

The amendments are a response to recommendations from the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children report.

The legislative amendments to be introduced today also include other procedural changes intended to clarify and streamline the operation of the SSO (DS) Act.

“This Act is a vital part of protecting the community against some of our worst sex offenders.” Mr. McIntosh said.

“It applies to sex offenders who have done their time in prison but who have been deemed by a court to be in need of ongoing supervision because of their risk of reoffending. It places onerous restrictions on such offenders beyond the term of their original sentence, including ongoing detention and supervision.”

“We are very pleased to be strengthening these laws further in the name of protecting our children, families and the community.” Mr. McIntosh said.

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