Report into child’s rape horrifies PM
MALCOLM Turnbull says he was left shocked after reading an unredacted report into the rape of a two-year-old girl in Tennant Creek.
"That is a shocking story and, a tragic story, and I read the full report on it," he said.
"It's heart-breaking. You have to put the children first, full stop."
Mr Turnbull was speaking in Alice Springs during his second visit to the Northern Territory in three weeks.
The trips follow a campaign by the NT News during which the newspaper accused the Prime Minister of failing to engage in the issue of child abuse and neglect in the NT.
A redacted version of Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne's report into the toddler's rape was released in April but many of the more graphic details were kept secret.
The redacted version showed the girl and her siblings were the subject of 52 notifications to the child protection department in 16 years, but the girl had been allowed to remain in her mother's care.
It also revealed the girl required a blood transfusion and had to be treated with post-exposure HIV medication after being flown to Adelaide for treatment.
But the NT News understands the unredacted report paints an even more horrific picture of the girl's injuries and the failure by authorities to intervene before she was raped.
"You have to put the interests of the children first," Mr Turnbull said.
"That is the single most important priority."
During a visit to the Territory in June, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said too many Aboriginal children were being removed from their families.
"The last thing they need is some know-it-all whitefella to come in paternalistic, as has been happening for 200 years, and say, 'listen you're just children and we'll just fix it all for you'," Mr Shorten said.