THE State Government has announced they will introduce changes to dangerous sex offender laws to try and better protect the community.
The Bill will the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act 2006 (WA) and the Bail Act 1982 (WA).
The amendments include reversing the onus of proof so that prisoners will bear the burden of satisfying the court that they will substantially comply with all the standard conditions of any Community Supervision Order
There will also be a presumption against bail for dangerous sexual offenders who are charged with breaching a dangerous sexual offender supervision order.
Those individuals would remain in custody until the matter has been dealt with by the court unless there are exceptional reasons why they should be granted bail.
The third amendment is to provide for interim supervision orders, which may be required under a range of different scenarios.
Premier Mark McGowan said the commitment fulfilled an election pledge.
“We made a promise to the people of WA to make it tougher for dangerous sex offenders to be released into the community, which we are honouring,” Mr McGowan said.
“The system for dangerous sex offenders as it currently stands is failing the community and it requires reform.
“This was demonstrated time and time again under the former Liberal National government.
“Unlike the previous government, we have moved swiftly to introduce significant reforms to toughen up these laws and to bring them more in line with community expectations.”
The news came a day after it was revealed a 67-year-old paedophile who once re-offended while being driven away from prison is being released into the West Australian community, subject to 47 strict conditions under an eight-year supervision order.
The man, whose name is suppressed, committed serious offences against multiple children over a long period of time and was first convicted of unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl aged under 13 years in 1975 when he was 25 years old.
After he had served 12 years behind bars for a string of child sex offences in 2015, he was declared a dangerous sex offender and a continuing detention order was made.
But he is being released after his second review of the order, despite Supreme Court of WA Justice Gail Archer saying he remained a serious danger to the community.