Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Child Sexual Abuse
That the Senate:
(a) acknowledges that:
(i) it has been almost 15 years since Daniel Morcombe, a 13-year-old boy with his entire life ahead of him, was abducted and murdered by a serial predator with an extensive history of sexually abusing children,
(ii) at the time of committing this heinous crime, this paedophile, Mr Brett Peter Cowan, was out on parole, amongst an unsuspecting community with no knowledge as to the extent of his criminal history, and
(iii) one child becoming the victim of a known sex offender is a child too many; and
(b) notes that:
(i) the community deserves strengthened measures aimed at better protecting children from known child sex offenders, including detailed consideration of the merits of a publically accessible National Sex Offender Registration Scheme, and
(ii) a national registration scheme may act as an increased deterrent to potential sex offenders and may decrease recidivism.
The government acknowledges the terrible loss of Daniel Morcombe 15 years ago and the devastating impact his death has had on his family, friends and community. The government supports this motion and will continue to pursue measures that best enhance the protection of Australia's children.
Labor acknowledges the sentiments driving this motion, including the tragic loss of Daniel Morcombe and the need for all children to be protected from child sex offenders. It was to further this objective that Labor established the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013, which made 409 recommendations for how to better protect our children. The royal commission did not recommend creating a publicly accessible national child sex offenders register, as Senator Hinch is calling for. We in Labor will be guided by the recommendations of the royal commission.
Question agreed to.