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Morcombes back Daniel's law to track sex offenders in NT

Daniel Morcombe on a family outing the year he went missing.
Daniel Morcombe on a family outing the year he went missing.

A BILL that aims to name and shame serious sex offenders residing in the Northern Territory not only has the backing of Bruce and Denise Morcombe, whose son it has been named after, but also gives them hope it will eventually become law across the country.

The soon-to-be introduced Daniel's Law Bill is intended to provide the public with basic information about serious sex offenders through a publicly accessible website.

Mr Morcombe said it would include their name, aliases, photo, description, and the region they were in, but not a physical address.

"It's a good move and it's important for people to know it's only for serious sex offenders," he said.

"It's about educating the public about who's in their area."

The couple has had numerous meetings to fine tune the bill with advisors and Northern Territory Attorney-General John Elferink, who will introduce it to Parliament.

"It's not necessarily the (Daniel Morcombe) foundation or us who have pushed this, it's the politicians and the will of the community," Mr Morcombe said.

That was echoed, he said, by the fact 1.2 million Facebook users had been reached through "shares" of the Foundation's Facebook post about the bill, which would lead to the creation of the Northern Territory Sex Offender Public Website if passed.

"And 34,000 likes," Mrs Morcombe added.

The bill is modelled on Megan's Law in the US.

It was established in New Jersey in 1994 after the sexual assault and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka and became federal law in 1996.

Mr Morcombe said he expected the law to eventually become national in Australia.

"If people (listed on the website) move (from the NT), there will be an obligation for them to notify the authorities," he said.

"It's quite possible some of them will move from the NT to avoid detection, so each state and territory will have to follow.

"The last will end up with the worst of the worst, so it's reasonable to suspect a chain reaction."

He said it would also function as a "useful tool" for mothers to check out potential love interests.

"We know there are predators on these matchmaking websites who gain confidence of the family," he said.

"With this site up and running it's very sensible for a single mum looking for a relationship to type in their new fellow's name."

Mr Morcombe said the bill has also had strong support from journalist and broadcaster Derryn Hinch, "a man on a cause to have this up and running".

Topics:  daniel morcombe editors picks morcombes sex offender



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