Extra protection worked into Dangerous Sex Offenders legislation

ATTORNEY General Michael Mischin introduced “significant changes” to the Dangerous Sex Offenders Act in Parliament last week.

Under the changes, sex offenders will be kept in jail longer before being considered for release and victims will have a greater say over release conditions.

Mr Mischin said the changes were based on a 2014 review of the Act following community concerns about the conditional release of the sex offender known as TJD.

“The review demonstrated that the Act is working in the way it was intended to when it was passed almost a decade ago, which is to provide protection to the community from the risk of serious sexual offences being committed by known dangerous sexual offenders (DSOs) otherwise entitled to be released from prison after serving their sentences,” he said.

Mr Mischin said the State Government could not legally detain offenders indefinitely.

“To do so would be constitutionally invalid and as a result, offenders would be released into the community with no supervision and under no controls by WA Police or the Department of Corrective Services,” he said.

Opposition spokesman John Quigley described the changes as a “fizzer” that failed to protect the community.

“The changes were introduced on the second last day of Parliament, preventing debate until next year,” Mr Quigley said.

“The three-month review of the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act that was completed nearly 18 months ago remains hidden from the public.”

Mr Quigley said the changes did not go far enough.

“The Attorney General promised the review would meet ‘the community’s expectations of the handling of dangerous sex offenders’, however the changes flagged do nothing to ease community concerns,” he said.