Sex offenders who have intercourse with a child under the age of 10 could face life behind bars under a re-elected NSW coalition government.
Premier Mike Baird is expected to outline on Wednesday a raft of tough new measures targeting child sex offenders which he will take to the March 28 election.
“This is about protecting child victims of sexual assault and bringing pedophiles to justice,” Mr Baird said.
The maximum penalty for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 will be raised from 25 years to life in jail under the plan.
Mr Baird is also proposing to introduce standard non-parole periods for 13 child abuse offences including grooming, prostitution and production of child abuse material.
Attorney General Brad Hazzard said the measures would ensure sentences meet community standards.
But a spokeswoman for Mr Hazzard said the measures won’t apply to historic sex abuse cases.
Howard Brown, from the Victims of Crime Assistance League, said the changes would allow more time for offenders to be rehabilitated.
“In the past the term of imprisonment has been too short for an offender to successfully complete sex offender programs, resulting in their release without treatment,” Mr Brown said.
Mr Baird will commit $4 million for the justice package while committing another $4 million over four years to educate children and young people about protecting themselves against abuse.
He will also announce a pilot program to allow child witnesses in abuse cases to be cross-examined in a “safe place” rather than coming in to court, aligning NSW with other states and territories.