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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5401 ..

revision and introduction of seven class 1 offences. Class 1 offences are serious offences that include sexual intercourse offences with a child or the sexual abuse or murder of a child, where the murder involves an express sexual element. The bill also proposes the inclusion and revision of 28 class 2 offences. These offences include sexual activity with a child outside Australia, procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia, and preparing to engage in child sex tourism.

The updating of the schedules of offences which require a convicted offender to be included on the child sex offender register sends a strong message that criminal conduct involving sexual offences against children is not tolerated, and that the consequences of this offending will extend many years beyond a prison sentence. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.45), in reply: I would like to thank members for their support of this bill. The government is strongly committed to ensuring that our laws effectively manage convicted child sex offenders.

As has been described to the Assembly, the bill updates the lists of offences that require a person to be included on the ACT’s child sex offender register following their conviction for a scheduled offence. This bill is one of a suite of recent reforms in the territory to ensure that we have a robust child sex offender legislative scheme.

The bill updates the list of registrable offences in the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005. If a person is convicted of a registrable offence, the person is required to be included on the ACT’s register of child sex offenders.

These are essential amendments that will allow police in the ACT to effectively monitor and supervise convicted child sex offenders. It is critical that our own child sex offender register keeps pace with commonwealth developments, given the growing use of the internet to groom children and to procure sexual activity with children, including such offences taking place outside Australia.

This amendment follows the recent changes to the Crimes (Child Sex Offender Register) Regulation 2005. This regulation was amended to prescribe a number of authorised entities to whom police can disclose information from the child sex offender register. This information can only be disclosed in certain circumstances, including for the purposes of verifying information on the register or for the investigation and prosecution of offences.

The amendment to the Crimes (Child Sex Offender Register) Regulation 2005 also removed any doubt about the disclosure of information between Australian police agencies and to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

The ACT government is dedicated to protecting children from unthinkable sexual abuse. In addition to prescribing the entities to whom the information may be disclosed, the government has also recently tabled the Criminal Code Amendment Bill 2010. This bill inserted a general defence of lawful possession in chapter 2 of the Criminal Code. This is the bill that the Assembly has just dealt with.

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