The New South Wales and South Australian Governments are closing a loophole in their post-sentence High Risk Offender schemes to improve community safety.
NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and South Australian Attorney General Vickie Chapman are introducing as a mandatory condition of post-sentence supervision orders that offenders must remain in the jurisdiction where their order was made.
“When High Risk Offenders leave the state their order was made in, the conditions of their order are typically unenforceable. This leaves the community exposed to offenders posing an unacceptable risk of committing further serious sex and violence offences,” Mr Speakman said.
“That’s why we’re working cooperatively with South Australia to ensure that offenders on supervision orders can’t travel to other states without prior approval of corrections authorities to secure the safety of Australians in other states and territories.”
Ms Chapman said community safety remains paramount when a court is determining whether to put an offender on a supervision order.
“There’s only a small number of high risk sex and violent offenders in NSW, but their crimes have a significant impact on victims and the community,” Ms Chapman said.
“In addition to the mandatory restriction on travel, the reforms will oblige courts in NSW and South Australia to ignore an offender’s intention to move to another state when determining whether or not to impose a supervision order in the first place,” Ms Chapman said.
The reforms respond to a 2017 South Australian Supreme Court matter concerning a sex offender who was not made subject to an Extended Supervision Order in that state due to his intention to return to NSW where he had significant ties but where an extended supervision order could not be enforced.
The reforms will also improve information sharing between the two states to ensure authorities are aware of the travel movements of supervised offenders.
Both Attorneys General encourage colleagues from other Australian jurisdictions to continue efforts towards harmonising High Risk Offender regimes that put the safety of Australians first. NSW introduced amendments to facilitate the changes this week, while the South Australian Parliament will debate the changes early in 2019.