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Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Release of Consultation Paper on The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Management

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.

Interested parties can provide written feedback on the consultation paper by 26 November. This deadline takes into consideration the Prime Minister’s desire to have arrangements for the establishment of the Royal Commission in place before the end of 2012, to enable the Commission to commence its public work in early 2013. However, the Government may continue to accept comments after this date, depending on the number of comments received, and the ability of individuals and organisations to meet this deadline.

Over the coming two weeks, the Government will also hold a number of consultation meetings with key stakeholders so that organisations that represent survivors of child abuse, community and legal leaders, State and Territory Governments and religious organisations can have a say.

The Government will finalise the Terms of Reference and the appointment of the Commissioner or Commissioners by the end of this year.

Getting the groundwork right is essential as it ensures that the Royal Commission will be able to effectively investigate responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in institutions.

We want the Commission to start work early next year.

This Government will do everything we can to make sure that what happened in the past is never allowed to happen again.

This consultation paper on the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been released this afternoon and will shortly be available at www.dpmc.gov.au/child_abuse_royal_commission.