RECENTLY elected Victorian upper house member Tania Maxwell has thrown her support behind a proposal for a national child sex offender registry.
The proposal, which was announced by home affairs minister Peter Dutton on Wednesday morning, would see the names and photos of child sex offenders uploaded to a public register.
The register would also contain their date of birth, the nature of their offending, and their general location.
Ms Maxwell, who will join the legislative council as a member for Northern Victoria for Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, welcomed the announcement.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“This was the catalyst for the party, it’s something Derryn himself has been wanting to achieve since before he was elected – it’s why he went to prison.
“Our commitment is to looking after children.”
Ms Maxwell said the proposal would be a way to inform the community about offenders living in the area and avoid scandals such as convicted sex offender Jeremy Kewley checking off voters at a polling station at a Rutherglen school during last year's election.
The register would require an agreement from states and territories to provide information for the national database.
The register would not contain the details of offenders under the age of 18.
Senator Hinch himself was quick to praise the proposal, but added that he wanted to include the full addresses of offenders.
“I can die happy, this is the only reason I got into politics,” he said.
Ms Maxwell said the proposal aligned with the Andrews government's announcement of new laws granting sexual assault victims more power to 'name and shame’ abusers and reduce the amount of protection they had post-conviction.
“We know sex offenders thrive on their anonymity, that people don't know who they are – our priority is community safety,” she said.
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