Continuing our reform agenda in response to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse

Elise Archer,Attorney-General and Minister for Justice

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report on 15 December 2017, including 409 recommendations to better prevent and respond to institutional child sexual abuse.

On 20 June 2018, our Government tabled its response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations, outlining our support for the overwhelming majority of the Royal Commission’s recommendations as presented in its final report.

On 15 December 2018, we released our First-Year Progress Report and Action Plan 2018-19 for implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and on 15 December 2019, we released our Second Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2020.

We also established, within the Department of Justice, the Child Abuse Royal Commission Response Unit (CARCRU) on 1 July 2019, to coordinate the Tasmanian Government’s response to, and implementation of, the recommendations of the Royal Commission, as well as Tasmania’s role as a participating institution under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

Since 2019, our Government has undertaken a number of significant law reforms arising from the Royal Commission’s recommendations, as well as introducing legislative amendments that complement the work of the Royal Commission.

On 6 April 2020, we also passed amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1924 to remove outdated language used to describe certain sexual offences.

We will continue to work closely with the Australian, state and territory governments on areas requiring national consistency and collaboration, along with reporting on the implementation of all recommendations annually. A further progress report is scheduled for release on 15 December 2020.

The work of the Royal Commission and the Tasmanian Government’s response may be distressing to some people in our community, and if at any time anyone feels that they would like to speak with someone, there are services and support groups that can help.

Some options for advice include:

1.1800 Respect;

2.Lifeline on 13 11 14;

3.Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) on 1800 697 877;

4.Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277;

5.The National Redress Scheme Information Line on 1800 146 713.

These are important and necessary steps, and I am proud of the work our Government is doing in this space.

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