Sexual Assault Support Service welcomes proposed federal reforms

PROPOSED REFORM: Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan announces a proposed crackdown on child sexual offenders.

PROPOSED REFORM: Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan announces a proposed crackdown on child sexual offenders.

The Sexual Assault Support Service has welcomed proposed new federal reforms targeting child sex offenders.

On Tuesday, federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan announced the government would propose the new laws, which he labeled the “greatest crackdown on paedophiles in a generation”. 

The proposed laws, which are set to be introduced into federal Parliament this week, include child sex offenders spending longer in jail, being less likely to be granted bail, and facing mandatory minimum sentences. 

SASS chief executive Jill Maxwell said she supported changes within the justice system for child victims. 

“Whilst we supported mandatory sentencing earlier this year when proposed by our state government, this was debated within the Legislative Council unsuccessfully and we accept that decision,” Ms Maxwell said.

The service also recommended a new offence be created for aggravated sexual intercourse with a young person and maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person in circumstances of aggravation. 

Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley said the party would examine the proposed laws closely. 

“Labor believes that vile criminals convicted of child sexual abuse should face the full force of the law,” she said.

The news came days after the Lyons Liberal MHA Mark Shelton released a petition to “get proper jail sentences for paedophiles” following the voting down of the government’s bill for mandatory jail time for serious child sexual offences in June this year. 

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