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Defies ‘common sense’, Suncorp ordered to compensate child pornographer

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Attorney-General Christian Porter will investigate a decision by the Australian Human Rights Commission after it demanded insurance giant Suncorp compensate a convicted child pornographer after refusing to hire him.

The paedophile, who applied for a job as an insurance claims consultant, was found to have faced discrimination due to his criminal record despite having lied on his online application.

The federal Attorney-General tells Warren Moore the decision doesn’t align with “common sense”.

“I think it would probably be a decision that most people find doesn’t make a lot of common sense.”

He says although Australians who have served time for their crimes shouldn’t be ruled out of future employment, employers should be able to decide if a person isn’t suitable for the “inherent requirements of the job”.

“He did not initially disclose the criminal record in its entirety and certainly didn’t let on the extent and severity of the criminal record in the initial online application.

“You could have made the decision the alternative way to say that the lack of honesty in the application process, without more, meant that the person wasn’t suitable.”

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The Attorney-General has also tightened control of a legal aid scheme handed to Australians charged with serious criminal offences overseas.

The scheme will see an overhaul after more than $500,000 of taxpayer money was used to defend paedophile Peter Scully who was on trial in the Philippines for child sex crimes.

“The Scully case, gave rise to a very serious and reasonable question, which was whether or not the people who were getting this money were getting it in circumstances that met community expectations,” Mr Porter says.

“The view that I formed, after looking at the Peter Scully case, was no they weren’t.”

Australian criminals facing over 20 years in prison overseas will no longer get automatic financial support, requiring ministerial approval first.