The Australian Democrats have renewed their call for the establishment of a Royal Commission on Child Abuse..
The party’s leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said the withdrawal of the rape case against the Governor-General is not the end of the matter.
Text of statement released by Senator Andrew Bartlett, leader of the Australian Democrats.
Royal Commission needed on child abuse
The Australian Democrats today renewed calls for a Royal Commission into Child Abuse.
“The withdrawing of the rape case and Peter Hollingworth’s decision to stay or go as Governor General is not the end of this matter,” Democrats’ Leader Senator Andrew Bartlett said.
“There is a real and significant issue involving the cover-up of child abuse that has made it impossible for Dr Hollingworth to hold the position of Governor General.
“Ignoring evidence of child sexual abuse was and remains the primary reason Dr Hollingworth lost the support of the public and the honour of the office of Governor General.
“The issue of child abuse is impossible for John Howard and the Government to ignore.
“The Democrats are determined to pursue a Royal Commission into Child Abuse.
“It would be in Dr Hollingworth’s interest for there to be a broad inquiry into child abuse rather than simply focusing on a few cases surrounding him.
“A Royal Commission could investigate past practices and rectify the present and future situation.
“This Government provides enormous amounts of funding to church and community agencies who have an obligation to ensure children are protected.
“A Royal Commission could lead to national standards or benchmarks that must be met by departments, churches, sporting groups, or schools. If the organisation responsible for caring for children does not get their act together in this most important of duties, they should not get public funding.
“Until we have a process to address the wrongs that have already been done and to prevent any in the future we will not see an end to terrible situations that thousands of children have faced at the hands of people who are paid to care for them,” Senator Bartlett said.