News

PM announces probe into Church's child sex abuse

Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Prime Minister Julia Gillard Chris Ison

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has announced a Royal Commission to investigate child sex abuse within a range of institutions .

Ms Gillard made the announcement late on Monday after consulting her Cabinet colleagues.

The terms of reference and a royal commissioner will be decided in the coming weeks, with Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Families Minister Brendan O'Connor taking the lead roles.

The pair has been tasked with consulting state and territory governments, religious groups, victims' groups and other organisations with the aim of having the commission established by the end of the year.

Ms Gillard said the investigation would not focus solely on the Catholic Church, as many had been calling for, but would examine "institutional responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia".

This would include religious organisations, state-run institutions, church and state-run schools and not-for-profit organisations, including sporting clubs and Scouts.

The Royal Commission will also look at the response of children's services agencies and the police to allegations of child abuse.

Ms Gillard said given the size, scope and importance of the Royal Commission it would likely "take quite some time" to complete.

"This I hope will help with healing, but I specifically hope that its recommendations will help us ensure that this never, ever happens again," Ms Gillard said.

She said recent revelations of child abuse, particularly in the Catholic Church, had revealed systematic failures to respond to the "evil" of child abuse.

"Too many children have suffered child abuse but have also seen other adults let them down," she said.

"They've not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser, but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so.

"There have been revelations of child abusers being moved from place to place rather than the nature of their abuse and their crimes being dealt with.

"There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil."

The Royal Commission comes after New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell said he would convene a special inquiry into allegations of child sexual abuse of children by clergymen in the Hunter region.

In Queensland, the Carmody Commission is already conducting an inquiry into the child protection system more generally, while a Victorian parliamentary inquiry was also under way into allegations of church abuse in that state.

Earlier on Monday, former prime minister Kevin Rudd said such state inquiries may not be enough.

Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon added to the calls for a royal commission, while further pressure came from key independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Coalition would support any inquiry the government was willing to establish.

"Wherever abuse has occurred it must be tackled and it must be tackled vigorously, openly and transparently," he said in a statement.

"A lot of terrible things have been done, and a lot of people have suffered deeply.

"For these reasons, if the government were to propose a royal commission to investigate the sexual abuse of children, it is something the Coalition would be prepared to support.

Mr Abbott said any investigation must be wide-ranging and should not be limited to the examination "of any one institution".

Topics:  catholic church, child sex, julia gillard, royal commission, sexual abuse




Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

We find city's tastiest burger

ISN'T SHE LOVELY: Michael and Tara Melcic with the Tower Central Cafe Noa burger, which has been voted as Ipswich's best.

City Pride gets the juicy gossip on Ipswich's best feed

How Baden-Clay's lies finally undid him in the end

Gerard Baden-Clay and Allison Baden-Clay

The High Court finds Gerard Baden-Clay murdered his wife Allison

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


This week's community billboard

Want to get involved in gardening? The Glebe Rd Uniting Church Garden Club meets first Saturday of each month.

Toastmaster, Tai Chi, Scouts, the Men's Shed and more

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale