From July 5, Queensland’s Criminal Code Act 1899 has been amended under the Criminal Code Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020, to include two new offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 22—Offences against morality):
- ss. 229BB Failure to protect a child from a sexual offence: will make it an offence to fail to protect a child from a sexual offence in an institutional setting.
- ss. 229BC Failure to report sexual offending against a child to police: will make it an offence for any adult not to report sexual offending against a child by another adult to police.
The offences recognise the difficulties victims have in disclosing or reporting abuse, the vulnerability of children, and the risk that perpetrators of child sexual abuse may have multiple victims and may continue to reoffend against particular victims over lengthy periods of time.
The Criminal Code amendment does not replace the mandatory reporting obligations of doctors and registered nurses under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) (the CP Act).
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General are responsible for leading the distribution of central information for the new legislative amendments to agencies and have made the following resources available to Queenslanders: qld.gov.au/protectchildren or qld.gov.au/law/crime-and-police/types-of-crime/sexual-offences-against-children