Broadcaster and Senate candidate Derryn Hinch has travelled more than 7000 kilometres in his campaign bus to towns across the country, advocating for equality and justice during a visit to Pakenham Place on Friday morning.
Mr Hinch – known as The Human Headline – has shaped his campaign around his unwavering belief in the need for a national public register for convicted sex offenders. His petition currently has the support of more than 160,000 signatures.
Based on his knowledge of figures in other towns, the candidate estimated that the Pakenham area would have about 75 to 100 convicted sex offenders.
“And you wouldn’t have any way of knowing whether one of them lived next door. In Texas, you can search them by name and each record contains a photo, criminal record and residential address of convicted sex offenders,” Mr Hinch said.
“We’ll see that in Australia too one day. With the support of one state, the rest will follow like dominoes.”
He would also like to see the formation of an internal national database on physical abuse on children, so that kids repeatedly being victimised can seek help.
If his bid for a seat in the Senate was to be successful, Mr Hinch said he would initiate an inquiry into the Family Court and child welfare agencies.
But Mr Hinch did not want voters to think of his Justice Party as the ‘anti-paedophile’ party, he told the Gazette.
“There are many other issues that I feel strongly about,” Mr Hinch said.
“I have advocated for voluntary euthanasia for many years and watched my mother die a terrible death.
“She would have weighed about 25 kilograms. If she had been a dog and an RSPCA inspector had walked in and seen her like that, I would have faced animal cruelty charges.
“It’s cruel. Opinion polls consistently show that about 70 per cent of Australians believe in voluntary euthanasia. Our legislation needs to reflect the views of our community.”
Mr Hinch noted that while parole legislation has gradually “tightened” and that there are more non ex-judges on the parole board, more could be done.
“Recently a multiple-rape offender was released on parole in Perth on 41 conditions. If his parole required that many conditions you would think that would raise alarm bells that parole probably wasn’t appropriate,” he said.
“His parole was breached and he has been bailed five times.
“We need to be tougher on bail. Adrian Bayley should not have been free on parole at the time of the Jill Meagher attack. The Sydney Lindt Cafe siege should never have happened.
Man Monis was on bail as an accessory for murder in a case where his ex-partner had allegedly been set alight and burnt to death. He was also on bail for more than 40 sexual assaults on eight women.”
Other policy issues Mr Hinch stands for include domestic violence reform, equality and animal rights.
Mr Hinch recently challenged the Australian Electoral Commission’s decision to refuse the registration of his Justice Party’s logo – as well as that of several other micro-parties – from being displayed on the Senate ballot paper.
He plans to take legal action on behalf of the affected parties at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.