LNP member for Ninderry Dan Purdie and Greens candidate Daniel Bryar discussed the proposed public child sex offenders register. Picture: File
LNP member for Ninderry Dan Purdie and Greens candidate Daniel Bryar discussed the proposed public child sex offenders register. Picture: File

Sex offender register sparks fiery debate on Coast

Fears the creation of a public sex offender registry could spark lynchings have been raised during a heated election debate between Ninderry candidates.

Five of the six hopefuls gave their views on a public registry during a debate in Coolum on Saturday night.

Greens candidate Daniel Bryar showed concern for those who would be placed alongside serious offenders.

"The problem you've got with a public register of sex offenders is there is no delineation between somebody who is on there for the most innocent of reasons and it just happens that they end up on there with offenders like Daniel Morcombe's attacker," he said.

"Everyone gets painted with the same brush. It's one thing you need to understand is tarring everybody with the same brush leads to a couple of problems, the biggest one is what's referred to as lynching."

Mr Bryar said he was referring to complex cases where teens may have been dating and had consensual sex, but one ended up on the register after the relationship broke down.

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Mr Bryar also referred to institutionalised sex offence issues within the church during the discussion.

"People within that respect absolutely need to not to be in our communities and we need to be aware that there is someone living in a particular community that has issues that need to be dealt with, but I think there are far better methods than a public register," he said.

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Current member for Ninderry Dan Purdie responded to Mr Bryar stating no crime against a child was innocent.

"Daniel … was opposed to a public child sex offender register as someone might end up on there for the most innocent of reasons," he said.

"I don't think any sexual crime committed against a vulnerable child is deemed as an innocent reason to qualify to be on the register."

Mr Purdie said there was around 130 registered child sex offenders on the Sunshine Coast and only one police officer, who doesn't have a car, tasked to monitor them.

He said the public register was not the be-all-and-end-all but in the absence of a properly resourced system it would help "stop things fall between the cracks".

"There has been no evidence in other states like Western Australia where they have such registers of any lynching," he said.

"Our proposed policy for a child sex offender register has strong safeguards in place to ensure that doesn't happen, but what it does give every parent is a tool to put systems in place to protect their own children."

Labor candidate Melinda Dodds and Informed Medical Options Party candidate Andrea Newland-Blackmore at OSCAR's meet the candidates forum. Picture: Laura Pettigrew
Labor candidate Melinda Dodds and Informed Medical Options Party candidate Andrea Newland-Blackmore at OSCAR's meet the candidates forum. Picture: Laura Pettigrew

Labor candidate Melinda Dodds said the failed experiment in Western Australia showed the public child sex offenders register wouldn't work.

"Have a look at Western Australia and what happened there, it drove people underground, the government couldn't keep track on where they were," she said.

"At the moment Queensland has very sound monitoring laws relating to sex offenders, they stay put, the state knows where they are … we already have a robust monitoring process which is working."

Both Informed Medical Options Party candidate Andrea Newland-Blackmore and One Nation's Frank Weijers backed the proposed register.

"We need to siphon through this register correctly so we can put the categories in the right area, for instance child molesters definitely need to be on the register, rapists need to be on the register," Ms Newland-Blackmore said.

Mr Weijers said "we have been very, very soft on these people" and the register needed to be put in place.

United Australia Party candidate Jay Giles wasn't present at the debate.


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