News

Govt wants sex abuse survivors to help shape commission

UPDATE: FEDERAL Attorney General Nicola Roxon has defended the tight deadline that has been set for stakeholders to have their say on the terms of reference for the royal commission into child abuse.

Victim groups, religious organisations and other interested parties have until Monday to make written submissions as the government draws up the terms of reference and decides on the make-up of the commission.

Ms Roxon said the government remained eager to have things in place of the investigation to begin early next year.

"I don't want the drafting of the terms of reference and the consultation to turn into a royal commission in itself," Ms Roxon said on Tuesday.

"It is a quite tight timeframe. That's what we're proposing, (but) I am sure that if there are particular reasons particular jurisdictions can't meet those timelines we will look sensibly at that."

On the question of compensation for victims of sexual abuse, Ms Roxon said while it would not the chief focus of the inquiry, the government was not ruling out the possibility of the royal commission making recommendations along those lines.

The release of the consultation paper on Monday has drawn praise from law firm Slater & Gordon, which has acted for hundreds of victims of sexual abuse.

Slater & Gordon general manager Hayden Stephens said the consultation paper was an important step towards ensuring the royal commission would be effective in delivering outcomes for people who had suffered abuse.

"This Royal Commission is a once in a generation opportunity to really examine these issues and expose the cultures that have allowed such horrific abuse to happen," Mr Stephens said.

"No child under institutional care should ever have to live with abuse and no perpetrator should be protected."

Mr Stephens said the removal of legislation protecting the Catholic Church and Christian Brothers Order needed to be a focus of the royal commission.

"These institutions currently enjoy the benefits of corporate status, for tax land purposes and perpetual succession of property, but avoid corporate tort liability for the acts committed under their roof," he said.

"This will be a key issue for the commission to tackle, as it must recognise that abuse is not just the act of predators but also of those in the highest echelons who have allowed it to happen."

 

EARLIER: THE Federal Government has released a consultation paper as it prepares the ground for the royal commission into child abuse.

Stakeholders will have until next Monday to provide views in writing on what the terms of reference for the commission should be; the form of the investigation; the number of royal commissioners, and; the timetable and reporting arrangements.

In a statement released late on Monday the government said it wanted all stakeholders, especially survivors of child sexual abuse and their families, to help shape the development of the royal commission.

The government may continue to accept comments after the November 26 deadline, which was set with the aim of having terms of reference and a commissioner (or commissioners) in place before the end of the year. The government wants the royal commission to begin early next year.

Over the next 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.

It came as two polls published on Monday revealed overwhelming support for the royal commission.

A Nielsen poll showed 95% of people backed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's decision last week to establish the royal commission.

Only 3% of people polled were opposed.

In the weekly Essential poll, 88% supported the royal commission, with 4% opposed and 8% saying they didn't know whether they approved or disapproved.

>> The consultation paper is available here

Topics:  royal commission, sexual abuse




Introducing Winter, Diesel, Rusty and Benson

Winter is coming - hopefully to a home with you. But don't worry, I won't bring cold and terror to your lives (like on Game of Thrones). My aim is to bring you love and fun . I am full of beans and ready for adventure .

Phone the RSPCA on 3426 9999 for more details about these animals

Latest deals and offers

Recycling your childhood faves

GHOST GIRL: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in a scene from Ghostbusters.

Everything that's old is new again

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles