Page 3952 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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The report also provides an important explanation of the risk assessment and treatment of sex offenders. Professor Biles notes that the risk of reoffending and the severity of previous offending are not synonymous. Sex offenders, he says, are not a homogenous population and the risk of repeat offending varies widely between individuals.

The report also outlines 18 principles of programs that produce better outcomes in treatment programs for sex offenders. It argues that treatment programs in community settings are more effective than in institutional settings. However, it says, when treatment in the community cannot be done safely or when compliance cannot be managed in the community, treatment should be delivered in custody, rather than not at all. Professor Biles also discusses the role of offenders, and their family or friends, in the treatment.

There is also discussion of the number of people subject to these schemes. The report notes the small number of cases that have received considerable media coverage, and that the actual numbers identified to date by special sex offender legislation in Victoria and Queensland are small. In Victoria, one offender is on a post-supervision order and one further case is being considered, while in Queensland two continuing detention orders, one interim detention order and five continuing supervision orders have been made. In New Zealand, 32 extended supervision orders have been made since July last year.

This report provides important and timely information on the management of high-risk sex offenders. I will be receiving further advice from the department on its contents. It is important, particularly with issues as difficult and emotive as this one, to make sure that we are fully equipped with the facts. The management of sex offenders is, as I said, a complex issue and one we should consider carefully. We do not want to jump to ill-considered conclusions based on gut reactions.

The Biles report sets out the programs in place in Australia and around the world and applies an analytical eye to the issue of recidivism. Having a clear idea of what is in place elsewhere, how these schemes work and indeed how well they work will equip us as legislators, and the Canberra community generally, with the information we need to consider these issues thoroughly. I invite all members to consider the Biles report. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Reporting requirements of insurers

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (3.33): I present the following paper:

Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, pursuant to section 205—General reporting requirements of insurers.

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