Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Child Sex Offenders

My question is for the Minister for Higher Education, representing the Minister for Police, and it relates to the report of the inquiry into management of child sex offender information. Recommendation 3 from this report sought the government to refer to the Victorian Law Reform Commission the circumstances in which a limited public disclosure scheme for registered sex offenders could be trialled. In answer to a previous question on notice the government said it would not refer the matter to the VLRC as it had already been examined in detail at the national level, and I assume that this is the work mentioned in the June 2019 communiqué of the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management, which looked at the issue of limited notification schemes and was required to report back by the end of 2019. This report, however, does not appear to be available in the public domain. Minister, will the government make this report available or, if not, explain the outcomes of the national considerations of such a scheme?

Thank you, Minister. In its response to the report, the government noted that the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 already includes measures for the public disclosure of information relating to offenders in limited circumstances. The circumstances, however, are only when an offender cannot be located and does not comply with their reporting obligations. Further disclosures are subject to several conditions and at the discretion of the chief commissioner. Section 61A of the act requires the chief commissioner to maintain an internet site to publish relevant details. This site either does not exist or it is so hidden as to be inaccessible to the public. So, as far as public access to information about these sex offenders goes, it would be more accurate to say not that it is a limited scheme but that it is non-existent. Minister, as of 30 June 2021 there were 9170 registrable offenders. How many of these met the section 61A criteria for publication, and how many were published and by what means?


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