A dangerous sex offender, who once re-offended during the drive home from prison, will be released in Perth rather than the WA regional town a judge gave him permission to live in.
There was a significant backlash in Geraldton last week, including a petition with thousands of signatures, when it was revealed DAL would be allowed to live there with his partner.
But Attorney-General John Quigley told parliament on Wednesday that 67-year-old would be released somewhere in Perth instead.
He was urged by the opposition to appeal the judgment but said Solicitor-General Peter Quinlan advised him he could not because the Director of Public Prosecutions had already acted.
“I am taking the solicitor-general at his word,” Mr Quigley said.
DAL was first convicted of sexually abusing a child in 1975 and was declared a DSO in 2015 after serving 12 years behind bars for a string of offences.
After his second annual review, WA Supreme Court Justice Gail Archer last month ruled he should be released, subject to 47 strict conditions under an eight-year supervision order.
The Justice Department said DAL would be temporarily accommodated at an undisclosed court-approved location in Perth.
“DAL will be closely monitored by the Department of Justice’s community offender monitoring unit and WA Police,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, Opposition Leader Mike Nahan questioned the decision to free DAL at all.
“We call on Mr Quigley to do in government what he claimed in opposition that should be done - that is, stop this person from going out into the community,“ he told reporters.
Premier Mark McGowan said the state government remained committed to passing legislation aimed at toughening DSO laws.
“We’ll sit as long as it takes to get those dangerous sex offenders laws through the Legislative Assembly and get them into practice as soon as possible,” he told reporters.
The legislation amendment includes reversing the onus of proof so prisoners must satisfy the court they will comply with the conditions of a community supervision order.
There will also be a presumption against bail for DSOs charged with breaching a supervision order.