Australia PM rules out national sex offender website

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Thursday his government is not considering a national version of the Northern Territory`s public sex offender website as he is "disinclined to single out particular crimes".

AFP| Updated: Oct 16, 2014, 10:17 AM IST

Sydney: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Thursday his government is not considering a national version of the Northern Territory`s public sex offender website as he is "disinclined to single out particular crimes".

The Northern Territory announced Wednesday it is introducing legislation for a publicly accessible serious sex offender website that it plans to launch next year. 

Convicted sex offenders` images, physical descriptions and regional locations -- but not residential address or specific details of the crime committed -- would be published on the website, the first of its kind in Australia.

Abbott said he was "disinclined to pursue such a thing nationally" and the "best way forward" is to have strong and effective laws and law enforcement agencies.

"We don`t have a national murders register. We don`t have a national thieves register. We don`t have a national white-collar criminals register," he told reporters.

"I am disinclined to single out particular crimes for particular public registers."

His comments followed calls from members of his governing coalition for the website to be rolled out nationally.

"Parents have a right to know where these serious sex offenders are and what they look like so they can protect their children," said George Christensen, a federal member of parliament from Queensland state.

The legislation for the website will be named "Daniel`s Law" in memory of 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe, who was abducted in northern Queensland in 2003 and murdered by a serial sex offender.

It is modelled on "Megan`s Law" in the United States, which has been implemented in various forms across many states and requires authorities to provide the public with information on the whereabouts of sex offenders.

Labor opposition attorney-general Mark Dreyfus told reporters that any national register should take into account the risk of vigilantism.