NSW responds to Child Abuse Royal Commission

Published: 23 Jun 2018

The NSW Government has endorsed the overwhelming majority of recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with 336 recommendations accepted or accepted in principle with 14 subject to further consideration.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Attorney General Mark Speakman and Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward announced reforms including changes to civil litigation laws, accepting Child Safe Standards and strengthening protections for mandatory reporters.

“I want all those who came forward to the Royal Commission to know that we have listened and we are acting to prevent the abuse they suffered from ever happening again,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“From schools to early childhood services, sport and recreation groups and more, we will act to ensure that the institutions entrusted to care for our children provide safe places to learn, play and live.”

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government is making it easier for survivors to sue institutions responsible for child abuse. Two new forms of liability will be introduced in legislation in 2018 including a new statutory duty on institutions to prevent child abuse.

“This includes making it easier to take legal action against institutions which could previously rely on legal loopholes like trusts as well as removing any statute of limitations,” Mr Speakman said.

“We’ve also introduced a maximum sentence of life in prison for those convicted of repeated child sex abuse and new offences of failing to report child abuse and failing to protect against it.”

Ms Goward said the NSW Government is committed to supporting organisations to be child safe.

“Applying child safe standards more broadly will improve the safety and wellbeing of children,” Ms Goward said.

“The NSW Government will continue to work closely with non-government and community organisations, religious institutions and other governments to implement the Royal Commission recommendations.”

In announcing the NSW Government response today, Ms Berejiklian, Mr Speakman and Ms Goward said the remaining 59 recommendations have been noted, as they relate to religious or other institutions.

The full response is available here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/royalcommission.

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