RENEWED PUSH FOR CARLY’S LAW

28 June 2016
  • Concerns of an increase in predators procuring children online and serious sex offenders being released back into the community and reoffending

Senator Nick Xenophon will, if re-elected, renew his push for ‘Carly’s Law’ - aimed at internet predators of children, and has called for a national review of the adequacy of penalties imposed on serious child sex offenders, and the conditions of their release in the community.

On the 20th February 2007, 15-year-old South Australian Carly Ryan was the first Australian to be murdered by an internet predator, Gary Newman, who lied to Carly about his age and identity online to lure her to her death.

The Carly Ryan Foundation, established by Carly’s mother Sonya Ryan (the 2013 South Australian of the Year), has been supporting legislation introduced by Senator Xenophon twice in 2013, that would make it an offence for an adult to lie online about their age and identity to a child and attempts to meet that child.

“Incredibly, the major parties have shown a lack of political will to tackle this serious issue,” Nick said. “If I am back in the Senate – hopefully with colleagues in both Houses - I will reintroduce this legislation in conjunction with the Carly Ryan Foundation.

“The Foundation has also called for a review of penalties imposed on child sex offenders, the conditions of their release in the community and the adequacy of current community safeguards, as well as the interaction between the states and the Commonwealth on this issue.”

Senator Xenophon will be moving for a Senate inquiry on this, parallel to the reintroduction of the Bill.

Sonya Ryan said: “This review is well overdue and urgent, given the information I am getting across the country about the inadequacy of current penalties imposed on serious child sex offenders and predators reoffending. I’m also getting information that there seem to be more and more cases of children being lured online in this way. The protection of children is everybody’s business.”

Senator Xenophon will work with The Carly Ryan Foundation to develop an effective national serious child sex offender register with community protection as the principal aim.

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