Under the new reforms introduced into NSW Parliament, people who conceal child abuse offences could face up to five years in prison or seven years if they hid the crime for a benefit, such as financial gain.
Currently in NSW, failing to report child abuse without a reasonable excuse carries a sentence of up to two years in prison or five years if it was done for a benefit.
NSW and Victoria are the only states in Australia with a concealment offence specifically related to child abuse (NSW) or child sexual abuse (Victoria). In Victoria, the maximum penalty is three years in prison.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said child abuse can lead to a lifetime of trauma for victims and should be reported to police immediately.
“Increasing penalties for concealment will deter people from protecting perpetrators or turning a blind eye to their crimes,” Mr Speakman said.
“These reforms will enable courts to impose longer sentences on people who protect paedophiles and other heinous child abusers.”