Outspoken commentator Derryn Hinch following his meeting with Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie
Outspoken commentator Derryn Hinch following his meeting with Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie

Hinch uses Morcombe tragedy to push registry

DANIEL Morcombe's murderer Brett Peter Cowan is a "classic example" of why Queensland should have a sex offender registry, Derryn Hinch says.

The Human Headline, an outspoken advocate for a sex offender registry, spoke of the Sunshine Coast case after meeting Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie in Brisbane.

"You can't say having a public register would have saved Daniel, tragically, but there is a classic example of a man who should never have been out on the streets, should never have been released to be in a position to attack Daniel Morcombe," Mr Hinch said.

"That man, after what he did to a little boy in a caravan park up in Darwin, should not have been about.

"At least if he had been on a register we would have known who he was and where he was and maybe even members of his local church may have kept a closer eye on him than what they were doing."

Bruce and Denise Morcombe joined Mr Hinch on his Jail to Justice walk in Melbourne in May.

Mr Hinch told The Daily he was pleased with the outcomes of his meeting with Mr Bleijie.

He felt confident Queensland would eventually be the first state to adopt a sex offender registry in light of Mr Bleijie's track record for stringent sex offender laws and the Morcombe case.

"Everything is on the table and it's a good climate in Queensland for this proposition," Mr Hinch said.

"Obviously Mr Bleijie did raise the obvious arguments of vigilantes and the opposition from Bravehearts' Hetty Johnston, but I think now is the time for Australia to stand up.

"If we had longer sentences for offenders that would be great, but people eventually get out and I think that the community, parents and children have the right to know who these offenders are.

"We don't have this secrecy for everyone else who completes their sentences - tax evaders, murderers - so why have it for sex offenders?"

"It just doesn't make sense."

Bruce Morcombe said he and Denise stood by their support for Mr Hinch and thanked him for continuing to help the national sex registry gain momentum.

He said a jury deserved to know the previous history of an alleged sex offender to assess whether the person charged was capable of committing such an act again.

"I have the upmost faith that the attorney-general is more adventurous than other attorney-generals in exploring new age technologies," Mr Morcombe said.

"This needs to be a national registry though.

"Pedophiles will move state to state otherwise."

Mr Bleijie said his government's two-strike policy and other sex offender reforms meant Queensland had some of the strongest child sex offender legislation in the country.



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