The law that deals with the Child Protection Offender Register in Queensland is the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004.
The register contains the details of people convicted of sexual offences, or some other serious offences, against children.
Its purpose is to make sure that the police know the personal details and whereabouts of an offender.
The aim is to reduce the chances of re-offending, and help with future investigations or prosecutions.
Only people who are authorised by the police commissioner can access the information in the register, and they can only disclose the information to other authorised persons.
The offences which apply to the register (prescribed offences) are listed in Schedule 1 of the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004.
- carnal knowledge of a child under 16
- procuring a child for carnal knowledge, including through the internet
- unlawful sodomy
- indecent treatment of a child under 16
- taking a child for immoral purposes
- involvement in child prostitution
- rape or attempted rape
- having an ongoing sexual relationship with a child
- involving a child in making child exploitation material
- making, distributing, or possessing, child exploitation material
- obscene publications and exhibitions
- possession of, or making, an objectionable computer game or film.
A person may also be added to the Child Protection Offender Register in Queensland if they commit a different offence but the court gives them a reporting order (reportable offence).
The period over which an offender must report depends on the number of offences committed.
The reporting period is 5 years if the offender committed:
- 1 offence or
- more than 1 offence unless one of the following applies.
The reporting period is 10 years if the offender:
- committed 1 or more offences and
- has been notified of their obligations and
- is convicted of an additional prescribed or reportable offence.
The offender must report for life if:
- they committed 1 or more offences and
- have been notified of their obligations and
- are convicted of more than one additional prescribed or reportable offence.
If entered into the Child Protection Offender Register in Queensland, the offender must provide details such as:
- their name, and any other name ever used, and when they were known by that name
- their birth date
- address/es where they live
- names and ages of any children with whom they live or have unsupervised contact
- their employment
- involvement in clubs or organisations that have child membership or participation
- all vehicles they own or drive
- permanent distinguishing marks or tattoos including any that have been removed or changed
- any similar offences committed outside of Queensland
- any times they have been in custody in Queensland or elsewhere for similar offences since being sentenced
- any carriage or internet service provider and connection they use or intend to use
- any email addresses, internet or chat room user names, instant messaging names, or other names or identities they use or intend to use
- the number and country of issue for any passport/s.
An offender on the Child Protection Offender Register in Queensland must first report within 7 days of sentence or their release from custody, whichever happens last.
Offenders who come to Queensland must report within 7 days of entry if they stay for 7 or more days in a row, apart from any time spent in custody.
After the initial report, unless told otherwise, the offender must report:
- each February, May, August, and November
- within 7 days of a change to personal details
- within 24 hours of contact with a child
- if they intend to leave Queensland, before they leave
- if they plan to be away from Queensland for more than 7 days, at least 7 days before leaving
- if travelling overseas, at least 7 days before leaving – they must also produce their passport and travel documents
- after returning and having been in Queensland for 7 days in a row, within 7 more days.
Failure to comply with reporting obligations is an offence.
The maximum penalty is a fine of $35,340 or 5 years imprisonment.
This article reflects the state of the law as at 23 December 2015. It is intended to be of a general nature only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal assistance, please telephone 1300 636 846 or request a consultation at gotocourt.com.au.