Mr WELLS (Rowville) — This statement welcomes the Liberal-Nationals announcement that, if elected, they will introduce a serious sex offenders public register (SSOP). Labor have failed time and time again to keep Victorians safe. Under the Premier the number of sexual assaults has increased dramatically, going up 24.35 per cent between 2014 and 2016. Enough is enough. The Liberal-Nationals will put the protection and safety of children, families and the community first.
Information from the SSOP register will be made available to the public in three ways. Firstly, a local search will allow members of the public to request details of serious sex offenders that live in their local area. Secondly, an individual search category will allow people with a genuine, relevant reason, such as parents or guardians of children or vulnerable adults, to request information about a specific individual who has contact with a child or vulnerable adult. Thirdly, missing offenders who fail to comply with reporting obligations or provide false information will have their photos and personal details published and made publicly available.
A number of safeguards are included in the policy. A specific commissioner will be appointed to the SSOP register to determine which offenders pose a serious enough risk to community safety to warrant public disclosure. For example, this will not include offenders with a conviction for sexting or other lower level offences. Victorian families deserve to know if they have a high-risk serial sex offender living in their neighbourhood. This policy puts the rights of innocent Victorians first.