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Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Page: 4394

Senator HINCH (Victoria) (18:14): I will conclude my comments on this crucial and urgent bill amending the Australian Passports Act—the Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Bill 2017. Last Wednesday morning, I was privileged to sit in the roped-off guest section in the other place to watch the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, introduce the changes—my changes—to the passport act which will take passports off all convicted paedophiles on the child-sex offender register and curtail the perverts going on child-rape holidays in South-East Asia.

I want to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan; and the Prime Minister and his office for allowing me to participate in the drafting of this legislation and for the speed with which it has come before this chamber. I know that in this town the wheels of justice can sometimes grind exceedingly slowly. I also want to thank the Australian Federal Police for their input about this disgusting trade, which has stained Australia's reputation throughout South-East Asia for decades. We will get our good reputation back, because this is the first country in the world to impose such travel restrictions. I have already had preliminary discussions with the foreign minister about approaching her counterparts in New Zealand, in Canada and in the UK—and I have debated it on the BBC—and maybe even in the USA, where they have had a national public register of convicted sex offenders for more than 20 years.

This is just a start. As I mentioned earlier, the government is working with me on more-protective laws for our most vulnerable here at home, for the spring session of parliament. I also say thanks to the Nick Xenophon Team. Because of them we now have Carly's law, aimed at internet stalkers. As I speak, I know that there are deviants right here in Australia using their credit cards and Skype for real-time sex crimes. I was given evidence today of an Australian paedophile in Australia hiring a baby from her mother in the Philippines for less than $100 for his real-time gratification on Skype, and that baby was three months old.

I will be working closely in the months ahead with a group called IJM Australia, International Justice Mission Australia, to fight what they called cybersex trafficking in our region. I know that the Xenophon team, through Senator Kakoschke-Moore, has an amendment to cover cybersex traffickers. Going forward, I will happily work with her on all of this, and with the government.

Finally, I stand here tonight a very proud man. I am very proud of you all, in both houses, for rescuing hundreds and thousands of children from a truly evil and depraved culture. Thank you.