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Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission Press Conference

Justice Peter McClellan and the other commissioners of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have held a press conference to outline the early steps the inquiry will take.

McClellan read a statement to the media. He did not take questions. [Read more…]

Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse: Commissioners, Terms Of Reference Announced

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced the names of six Commissioners and the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.


The Royal Commission will be led by Justice Peter McClellan, currently Chief Judge at Common Law of the Supreme Court of NSW.

He will be assisted by the former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson; Justice Jennifer Coate, the Victorian Coroner; Robert Fitzgerald, a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission; Professor Helen Milroy, a consultatn psychiatrist; and Andrew Murray, former Democrats Senator.

The Royal Commission will not examine child sexual abuse in families.

Gillard was joined by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Families Minister Jenny Macklin at her press conference. [Read more…]

Child Abuse Royal Commission Consultation Paper Released

The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, today released a consultation paper on the establishment of the Royal Commission into child abuse.

The paper invites submissions on the scope of the Commission’s terms of reference, the form of the Royal Commission, the number and qualifications of the Commissioner(s), and the duration and reporting arrangements for the Commission.

Statement by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon.

Attorney General Nicola Roxon and Acting Minister for Families Brendan O’Connor today announced the Government has released a consultation paper to inform the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, announced last week by the Prime Minister.

The consultation paper asks for stakeholder views on:

  • The scope of the Terms of Reference, including the issues the Commission should investigate and make recommendations on;
  • The form of the Royal Commission, including how the Commonwealth and states and territories could work together to ensure full access to information;
  • The number of Royal Commissioners and appropriate expertise; and
  • The timetable and reporting arrangements.

We want all stakeholders, especially survivors of child sexual abuse, their families and their advocates, to help shape the development of the Royal Commission. [Read more…]

Gillard Speaks To Media In Perth

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has discussed a range of issues at a media conference in Perth today.

Gillard discussed a range of issues, including the visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Royal Commission on child sexual abuse, and the latest opinion polls.

Julia Gillard

  • Listen to Gillard’s media conference (17m)

Cardinal George Pell Press Conference On Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry

Cardinal George Pell has held a thirty-minute press conference in Sydney to discuss the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. [Read more…]

Tony Abbott’s Brisbane Media Conference

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott has given a media conference in Brisbane this morning.

Tony Abbott

Amongst other issues, Abbott commented on the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. [Read more…]

Gillard Announces Royal Commision Into Child Sexual Abuse

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced a Royal Commission into child abuse in Australia.

Julia Gillard

  • Listen to Gillard’s press conference announcement (23m)
  • Watch Gillard (7m)

Gillard said she had consulted with the premiers of Victoria and NSW, both of whom had agreed to co-operate on developing the terms of reference for the Royal Commission. She said she hoped the terms of reference and an announcement of the commissioners could be finalised by Christmas.

The Prime Minister made it clear this would not be an inquiry into the Catholic Church alone but into government and private institutions around Australia, including schools, welfare agencies, sporting organisations and suchlike.

Gillard said she has spoken to the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Pell, about the inquiry.

Gillard said the time to be taken by the Royal Commission is “not knowable”. She said it would be foolish to stipulate the number of “days, months or years”.

The Prime Minister said there has been a systemic failure in the response to child abuse that required a national solution.

Press release from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

Establishment of Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

Today I have announced that I will be recommending to the Governor-General the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia.

The allegations that have come to light recently about child sexual abuse have been heartbreaking.

These are insidious, evil acts to which no child should be subject.

The individuals concerned deserve the most thorough of investigations into the wrongs that have been committed against them.

They deserve to have their voices heard and their claims investigated.

I believe a Royal Commission is the best way to do this.

The proposed terms of reference and proposed Commissioner will be submitted to the Governor-General in due course, pursuant to the Royal Commissions Act 1902.

I will speak with relevant Premiers and Chief Ministers in coming days to discuss how the Royal Commission should relate to any current inquiries into similar matters currently proposed or underway in their jurisdictions. Discussions will also take place with victims’ groups, religious leaders, and community organisations.

The Attorney-General and the Minister for Families will co-ordinate this work on behalf of the Government in coming weeks.

Further announcements, including the proposed Commissioner and detailed terms of reference, will be made in coming weeks.

I commend the victims involved for having the courage to speak out.

I believe we must do everything we can to make sure that what has happened in the past is never allowed to happen again.

Democrats Renew Call For Royal Commission On Child Abuse

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. [Read more…]

Howard In USA; Fields Questions On Hollingworth

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has fielded questions about the Anglican Church report on the Governor-General’s handling of sex abuse allegations.

In an interview in the United States at the start of his visit to President Bush’s ranch in Texas, Howard has denied he is protecting a friend.

Responding to other questions, Howard reiterated Australia’s “niche expertise” in the rebuilding of Iraq. [Read more…]

ALP Calls For Hollingworth To Resign

The Leader of the Federal Opposition, Simon Crean, has renewed his call for the Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, to resign, following the release of The Report of the Board of Inquiry into Past Handling of Complains of Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church Diocese of Brisbane.

Crean said it was important “that our society must lift the veil of secrecy that has hung over allegations of child sexual abuse for too long”. [Read more…]