Young Australians will have greater protection from the vile grooming of online predators under tough new laws to be introduced by the Australian Government.
Carly's Law will make it a crime for an adult to use a carriage service to commit an act in preparation for, or planning to, cause harm to or engage in or procure sexual activity with a minor. Importantly, this will include those who misrepresent their age.
Carly's Law is the result of a tireless crusade by Adelaide mother Sonya Ryan, whose 15 year old daughter Carly was murdered a decade ago by an online predator posing as a teenage boy.
This is a testament to Sonya Ryan, who has turned a story about the loss of a life into one that will now save many lives. For a decade she has tirelessly worked to achieve an outcome that would better protect young Australians in the online world.
Now, she has achieved what she set out to do; a law that will protect young Australians and serve as an enduring legacy for Carly.
Carly's Law will enable law enforcement agencies to take action against predators sooner and with greater consequence. It will give police the power to intervene before predators have a chance to act, and will also serve as a strong deterrent, with a tough new sentence of 10 years prison for convicted offenders.
"We thank Senators Nick Xenophon, Skye Kakoschke-Moore and Derryn Hinch for their ongoing efforts to support Sonya Ryan and the Carly Ryan Foundation to see this measure achieved," Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said in a statement.
"Carly's Law complements the Government's ongoing work to counter online sexual exploitation of children, including through the AFP's ThinkUKnow program that educates students, parents and teachers."
Keenan said the law also builds on work the Government initiated with states and territories in October 2016, appointing a working group to review existing and potential initiatives to combat child sex offenders.
The working group will report back before the end of 2017 on operational aspects of sex offender registration schemes, post-sentence court-ordered schemes, the restriction of overseas travel by convicted child sex offenders and public notification schemes.
Photo - Sonya Ryan with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull following the announcement of the introduction of Carly's Law