WEST Australians were left in the dark when dozens of offenders, some with serious convictions including dangerous sex offences, were unable to be tracked following a recent Telstra outage, according to Oppositions Corrective Services spokesman and Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup.
But Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan said Mr Kirkup should be reprimanded by his party leader Mike Nahan for his ridiculous and dangerous suggestion that offenders should be told how they were being monitored.
Mr Kirkup claimed today it was incomprehensible the State Government did not alert the community to the dangers posed by offenders able to roam the community without being able to be tracked.
“If there is a telecommunications outage and offenders cannot be tracked, the community needs to be made aware,” he said.
“In Parliament, it was revealed 81 offenders with trackable ankle bracelets had been disconnected from monitoring as a result of the outage.
“The question must be asked – why did it take questioning in Parliament for this information to be made public?
He said the State Government needed to assure the public they would not be kept in the dark if there was a similar black-out in future.
“The Minister would have received a briefing that the Department had lost track of the offenders as a result of the outage and should have insisted on warning the public.
“I am concerned he may not have wanted the public to know that offenders were out in the public and not being tracked.
But Mr Logan said the offenders did not know if a Telstra outage had affected their devices “but the Member for Dawesville thinks it’s a good idea to tell them through a public announcement”.
“It’s ridiculous and dangerous and I call on Mr Nahan to make him retract that ludicrous idea,” he said.
Mr Logan said the offenders were continually tracked by satellite, all the location information was stored and when the Telstra outage was resolved, all that data immediately returned to the Department and showed there were no breaches in the strict conditions.
“The Department also has a multi-pronged approach to monitoring these offenders so as soon as it was clear there was an issue with the Telstra network, the Department quickly put in place its contingency plans.
“We will not reveal those plans because of security concerns just we will not tell them how they are being monitored.”