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Australia Currently Doesn’t Have A Public Sex Offender List But Here’s Why It’s A Necessity

In the past few weeks, discussion has risen about Peter Dutton’s call for a public sex offender registry. While some disagree, it’s time for Aussies to take serious consideration as why it’s essential for the safety of our country.

The concern comes about with the recent release of serial rapist Robert Fardon. Fardon has had a history of violent rapes and assaults that date back to the 1960’s. His record includes minors ages 10 and 12. Despite his track record, Fardon was recently released without having to wear any kind of monitoring devices. This seems to say a lot about the seriousness of safety in Australia, which is missing a huge component of protecting the youth.

Robert Fardon spotted at North Lakes Shopping Centre

The massive push for a registry is also backed by reports to the federal police that child sexual abuse in Australia grew by 77 per cent from 2017-2018; a colossal increase. The public list would give viewers an opportunity to see the offender’s name, date of birth, offences, postcode and photograph, allowing you to keep a watch of who is in your neighbourhood.

Some are seemingly against the registry in defence of one-time offenders and those who are wrongly accused. Many seem concerned about the privacy of those above, considering how much information is released. There is also a concern for how much fear it would raise in communities. However, the majority are for rather than against.

The familiarity of the situation leads us to wonder about 13 year old boy Daniel Morcombe. Daniel was abducted and later murdered in 2003. The convicted offender, Brett Peter Cowan, had already had two previous convictions for child sex offences. Would a public registry have kept Daniel Morcombe safe? Or alerted his parents about the presence of a child predator in the area?

The Morcombe family have been a huge force of change in the protection of children in Australia. Their foundation, The Daniel Morcombe Foundation, is committed to educating youth about safety, and raising awareness towards predators.

A public sex offender registry could have a huge impact on child protection in Australia. Parents are able to keep an eye out for offenders in their neighbourhood and have a much better idea of the safety of their surroundings. Being able to identify and recognise predators has a huge positive effect for personal safety. The list would give us a better shot at protecting the future generation and influencing change in not only youth protection, but a better justice system.

Anti-pedofile campaigner Derryn Hinch expressed that the public is entitled to know about child predators in their area, “Out there in the public, you talk to the parents of young kids and they support it. I think the government’s doing a fantastic thing by bringing this out now.”

Explained by Peter Dutton, the registry “will send a clear message that Australia will not tolerate individuals preying on the most vulnerable members of the community – our children,” he said in a statement.

Whilst naming and shaming may not be everyone’s idea of justice and safety, the exposure is effective for protecting communities around Australia from those who pose serious risk. It would certainly provide relief to parents raising their children around Australia.

So are you for or against the creation of a public sex offender registry in Australia?

Image Credit: Lukas Coch

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