In November 2012, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances of child sexual abuse. This followed allegations from a senior police officer in New South Wales that the Catholic Church covered up evidence involving paedophile priests.
On 11 January 2013, the Governor-General appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). The Royal Commission will inquire into how institutions with responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. It will investigate where systems have failed to protect children, and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.
The Royal Commission commenced its operations in April 2013. The number of hearings and the level of complaints and allegations are not yet clearly established and these factors will have an impact on the budget for administering the Royal Commission. In future, the Government will need to review the need for changes to the funding in consultation with the Royal Commission.
The Government will provide $434.1 million over four years (including $66.8 million in 2012‑13 and $43.2 million in capital funding) to fund the Royal Commission. Capital funding includes the construction of offices, hearing rooms and witness support facilities across Australia. Funding to the Attorney-General’s Department for financial assistance for witnesses to the Royal Commission of $20.032 million per year from 2013-14 to 2015-16 will be provided. The funding also includes $45.0 million over four years from 2012‑13 for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to provide expert services to help support survivors of child sexual abuse.
. Further information can be found in the joint press release, Government formally establishes Royal Commission, of 11 January 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Attorney‑General and the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, About the Royal Commission, Royal Commission website, accessed 15 May 2013.
For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.
© Commonwealth of Australia
In essence, you are free to copy and communicate this work in its current form for all non-commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the work to the author and abide by the other licence terms. The work cannot be adapted or modified in any way. Content from this publication should be attributed in the following way: Author(s), Title of publication, Series Name and No, Publisher, Date.
To the extent that copyright subsists in third party quotes it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Inquiries regarding the licence and any use of the publication are welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work has been prepared to support the work of the Australian Parliament using information available at the time of production. The views expressed do not reflect an official position of the Parliamentary Library, nor do they constitute professional legal opinion.
Feedback is welcome and may be provided to: email@example.com. Any concerns or complaints should be directed to the Parliamentary Librarian. Parliamentary Library staff are available to discuss the contents of publications with Senators and Members and their staff. To access this service, clients may contact the author or the Library‘s Central Entry Point for referral.