Protecting children from people who have previously been convicted on child-related offences has been a contentious issue. When an offender has 'served their time' for an offence and returns to the community there is legislation to control their behaviour, which aims to stop the possibility of re-offending. New legislation has amended this legislation.
Child Protection Legislation Amendment (Offenders Registration and Prohibition Orders) Bill 2013 passed both houses and was assented to on 29 October 2013. It commenced on the date of assent.
The following Acts are amended:
- Child Protection (Offenders Prohibition Orders) Act 2004 (NSW)
- Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW)
Overview of the amendments
These amendments will:
- permit the inspection by police, without notice or a warrant, of the residential premises of persons who are registrable persons under the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000,
- expand the conduct that can be the subject of a child protection prohibition order under the Child Protection (Offenders Prohibition Orders) Act 2004 to include, among other things, being a contractor, subcontractor, volunteer, trainee, religious or spiritual leader or a member of a religious organisation,
- increase the maximum penalty for the offence of failing to comply with a child protection prohibition order and to provide for such an offence to be dealt with on indictment if the prosecutor so elects,
- permit a contact prohibition order under the Principal Act to be made if the Commissioner of Police and the person who is to be subject to the order both consent to it being made,
- limit the persons to whom the Commissioner of Police can delegate his or her functions of applying for certain orders under the Principal Act against persons under 18 years of age.
The Child Protection Legislation (Offenders Registration and Prohibition Orders) Amendment Act 2013 implements the findings of the statutory review of the Child Protection (Offenders Prohibition Orders) Act 2004 and introduces additional measures to the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000. These were considered within the context of the statutory review. The legislative amendments contained in this bill will improve the operation of both Acts and will strengthen the framework for monitoring and managing child sex offenders and certain other individuals who are living in the community. The Child Protection (Offenders Prohibition Orders) Act 2004—or CPPO Act, as it is commonly known—enables prohibition orders to be made against offenders who have committed sexual or other serious offences against children, such as child murder, sexual intercourse with a child, acts of indecency against a child and possession of child abuse material.