After persistent pressure from the Opposition, the State Government has added critical amendments to the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Amendment Bill 2022, said Shadow Minister for Child Protection, the Hon Nick Goiran MLC.
“The Bill will see many heinous crimes, like murder, carnal knowledge of an animal and aggravated indecent assault, upgraded from category 2 to category 1, so that all these serious offenders are barred from attaining their Working with Children Card,” said Mr Goiran.
“Unbelievably, the Bill in its original form would have put children in danger, by allowing at least seven people to indefinitely retain a right to renew their WWC Card regardless of their crimes having been upgraded to category 1.
“It is a relief that the State Government have now agreed to implement these changes which will ensure these seven serious offenders cannot renew their WWC Cards.”
Mr Goiran, who suggested the new amendments, said the Legislative Council had debated this matter for two whole days during the past fortnight.
“After repeated cross-examination, the State Government begrudgingly revealed that the last offence committed by one of these mysterious seven Western Australians was in 2004, with most of their crimes committed in the 1990’s.
“Regardless of the passage of time since these offences were committed, Western Australian parents would despise the idea of their child being in the care of one of these people.
“When I asked the State Government if they could at least rule out child murder as a crime committed by one of these people, they refused to do so.
“Nevertheless, I am glad to say the State Government has agreed to implement the amendments to this Bill recommended by the Opposition.
“This is a big win for all Western Australian children and families,” said Mr Goiran.