Pedophiles Score Victory in Australia as Lawmakers Vote Down 'Name & Shame' Bill
Australian politicians voted against a law calling for public child sex offender register
Pedophiles will be allowed to keep their identities secret in Australia after lawmakers voted against a bill to "name and shame" child sex offenders.
Australian politicians chose to vote against a law calling for a public child sex offenders register in Australia that would help families identify local pedophiles.
Victims and supporters of the bill are now warning the scheme is in danger of "withering on the vine."
The plan was announced by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in January 2019 - just before the 2019 election in May.
Dutton pledged that the federal government was putting $7.8 million toward a public register of convicted sex offenders.
Under the policy, the names, aliases, photos, and nature of sex offenders' crimes would be made publicly accessible, as would their general location, but the register still hasn't become reality almost 18 months on.
Queensland Premier Annastasia Palasczcuk's government recently voted down a motion supporting such a register, in a move Mr. Dutton's spokeswoman slammed as "very frustrating," according to The Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, child protection advocates Bruce and Denise Morcombe - the parents of Australia's most famous abducted boy, Daniel - have demanded to know "what is going on" with the proposed register.
The family is understood to be privately frustrated over the silence from most state and territory governments.
Queensland's Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington introduced a motion on August 12 calling on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's government to set up a "register to help parents protect their kids from serious sexual offenders" earlier this month.
Ms. Frecklington's motion was defeated 49 votes to 42.
Labor MP Scott Stewart rubbished the idea, telling Parliament the Australian Institute of Criminology had found "public sex offender registers do not reduce recidivism."
"This government will always listen to and support the experts—unlike those opposite," he said, crowing that his government already had the "toughest" regime for sex offenders.
Former police officer and LNP MP Dan Purdie said: "The system is broken and that is why the LNP government will introduce a public child sex offender register, giving every parent an effective tool to protect their children from pedophiles."
But Ms. Frecklington's motion had little chance of getting across the line in the first place as it was tied to the ALP supporting a list of more than a dozen unrelated Liberal National Party priorities.
That included voting to "stop Labor's wasteful spending."
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said there were "mixed views about the merits of a public child sex offender register" and genuine concerns that any introduction on a national level could have unintended consequences.
"This includes that an increased risk of re-offending due to the likelihood that offenders would be driven underground."
Ms. D'Ath said there are 15 offenders listed missing by Western Australia's online register of high-risk sex offenders.
She added that former police commissioner Ian Stewart last year wrote to Mr. Dutton expressing concerns about such a national register.
Support from the states or territories for the proposal is critical for a public register getting up, Mr. Dutton's spokeswoman said.
"The Palaszczuk Government recently voted against a register which is very frustrating.
"The national register only works if all the states and territories sign up, as it relies on the sharing of their data."