Parliament Gippsland South The Nationals Families

Keeping our community safe from sex offenders

Sex offenders will be subject to tighter checks, including a presumption against bail, under changes designed to keep the community safe after the passage of legislation in State Parliament this week.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien spoke in Parliament on the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) and Other Acts Amendment Bill that will give police greater powers in their monitoring of the state’s worst sex offenders.

Mr O’Brien said elements of the Bill, in particular introducing a presumption against bail, was largely in response to the brutal murder of Masa Vukotic by Sean Price, who was on bail at the time of the murder and who had a long history of heinous crimes, particularly against women, but who unfortunately was free in the community at the time

“The amendments also give police the power to enter the home of serious sex offenders to check that they are complying with their orders. In addition, those who police believe are in breach of their orders can be arrested and directed to undertake a drug and alcohol testing,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These amendments also provide a greater capacity for the police in monitoring sex offenders through the creation of a new operational unit in the sex offenders’ management branch.

“Police officers in this unit will be responsible for monitoring, supervising, case managing and identify risks in relation to Victoria’s most serious sex offenders.”

In supporting the Bill, Mr O’Brien said these important powers would enable the police to better manage serious sex offenders and as a result protect the wider community.

“People are concerned for themselves, their children, their wives, their daughters, their granddaughters and their sisters. It is incumbent upon us as legislators to ensure that police have the necessary tools at hand to deal with these people who are a threat to our community,” Mr O’Brien told Parliament.

“I am sure there will be some in the community who have concerns about what are effectively special laws for a small portion of the community, and I understand that, however this bill was brought forward because of some heinous crimes that have been committed against completely innocent victims.”

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