Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

  • 'Publicly available' national child sex offender registry to be established
  • Names, alias, photos and 'general nature' of the offending will be made public
  •  Government also looking to fund institutional child sexual abuse museum
  • The register was spearheaded by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton

Paedophiles' names, aliases, photos and the nature of their crimes will be made public with the Federal government announcing it will establish a national child sex offender registry.

The register will also detail offenders' date of birth, their physical description and the 'general location and nature' of their offending, budget documents said.

The announcement, led by Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, will please some child safety advocates. 

But it will raise concerns about people taking vigilante action against offenders.

11206210 6876471 There are more than 17 000 convicted paedophiles in Australia
There are more than 17,000 convicted paedophiles in Australia.  Western Australia alone has more than 3,500 on its register for a population of less than 2.7 million

Budget papers make it clear the register will be 'publicly available' and hosted by the secretive national crime fighting body, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). 

Police agencies in every state and territory will provide, vet and manage the information included on the $7.8 million register.

'Protection of our most vulnerable – our children – remains one of the highest priorities of the Morrison government,' Mr Dutton said in a statement. 

The Budget papers don't specify what the rules would be for perpetrators whose victims would be identified if they were named - such as mums and dads who abuse their children. 

The papers also do not elaborate on what crimes would land offenders on the register. 

For instance, former A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack was convicted of a child pornography charge, but not physical offences against children.

It's not known whether that sort of offending - he expressed he was a 'proud ped' - would land a person on the register.

Mr Dutton has previously floated the idea of a child sex offender registry but said the government would consult with the states.

But the register was announced as a funding commitment in the second budget paper on Tuesday evening.

A police source said he was 'very concerned' about the announcement, and wondered how the government will compel the states and territories to join the scheme. 

Child advocates Bravehearts opposed the proposal when Mr Dutton suggested the measure in January, branding it a political stunt.

Founder Hetty Johnston said: 'The bottom line is that all dangerous and repeat sex offenders should not be on a register, they should be in jail.

'No offender should be released until the risk they pose is of a level that can be managed in the community. A register will not keep children safe.' 

But Mr Dutton said: 'It will send a clear message that Australia will not tolerate individuals preying on the most vulnerable members of the community - our children'. 

The sex offenders register is likely to become another issue dividing the parties at the coming election. 

Labor has previously said any changes must be 'evidence-based and effective'. 

The Federal party has pointed out former prime minister Tony Abbott once ruled out the measure. 

'It would be good to know what has changed since then,' a spokesperson told the ABC. 

Budget papers also revealed the government will set up a national museum and memorial for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. 

It will provide $2.5 million to consult stakeholders on potential options and form of a 'national museum or memorial'.

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