A bill enabling paedophiles to be jailed for life is set to pass federal parliament.
The Senate will on Thursday resume debate on the federal government’s sentencing reforms to increase penalties against serious Commonwealth child sex offenders – targeting online or overseas predators.
It also limits bail for repeat offenders and proposes minimum terms of imprisonment.
“Sexual crimes against children destroy lives,” Attorney-General Christian Porter said today.
“The depraved individuals who prey on these most vulnerable members of our community for their own sexual gratification or financial gain, are too often the subject of short jail terms and are released into the community without any supervision.
“Last financial year 39 per cent of convicted Commonwealth child sex offenders did not spend a single day in prison – a statistic completely out of step with community expectation.
“Meanwhile victims are left to face the resulting trauma for the rest of their lives.”
The majority of child sex offences are the responsibilities of the states.
Mr Porter said the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2019 includes a “new maximum life penalty” for those who commit “the most serious Commonwealth offences”.
It also includes a “presumption against bail” to keep them in custody while they face trial and mandatory minimum sentences.
“This Bill reforms the full sentencing cycle of child sex offending from the commission of the offence and presumptions against bail through to breach of parole and supervised release into the community,” Mr Porter said.
“It includes minimum terms of five to seven years imprisonment for the most serious child sex offences.”
While Labor has concerns about mandatory minimum sentencing, Senators won’t oppose the bill on Thursday if its amendments don’t get supported.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese told parliament on Wednesday his party would assist the government in “any way possible” to stamp out child abuse.
– With AAP