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Tasmanian Response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On 20 June 2018, the Tasmanian Government tabled its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Tasmanian Government acknowledges the courage of people affected by institutional child sexual abuse who shared their stories with the Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission has highlighted the failings of the past and provided institutions with a body of work that will protect our community’s most vulnerable from the impact of abuse.

The Tasmanian Government remains committed to better protecting our vulnerable children, and the final report released by the Royal Commission will help shape future reforms to achieve this.

On 15 December 2018, the Tasmanian Government released its First-Year Progress Report and Action Plan 2018-19 for implementing the recommendation of the Royal Commission. The progress report will be tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament in early 2019.

Read the Tasmanian Government’s response (PDF, 1.8 MB)

Read the Tasmanian Government's First Year Progress Report and Action Plan 2018-19 (PDF, 737.0 KB)

Read the Australian Government’s response

What does the final report contain?

The final report brings together the culmination of the work of the Royal Commission over its five-year inquiry. It sets out what the Royal Commission heard, concluded and recommended to better prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.

The final report is made up of an executive summary and 17 volumes. It makes 409 recommendations across a wide range of policy areas aimed at improving institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission’s recommendations aim to:

  • prevent abuse or, at the very least, identify it as early as possible;
  • improve the way perpetrators are investigated, prosecuted and sentenced; and
  • improve survivors’ access to justice and ongoing support.

The Royal Commission’s recommendations recognise that governments, institutions and the broader community share responsibility for keeping children safe. Recommendations focus on the following policy areas:

  • making institutions safer for children;
  • improving advocacy, support and treatment services for people affected by child sexual abuse;
  • responding to children with harmful sexual behaviours; and
  • improving the response of different types of institutions.

Read the Royal Commission’s final report.

What is the Tasmanian Government doing?

In December 2017, the Australian Government established a taskforce to respond to the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and coordinate action on the recommendations where national collaboration and consistency are required.  The taskforce, which comprises representatives of all Australian governments, has operated since January 2018 and will continue until June 2020.

To coordinate the initial formal response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations, the Tasmanian Government established interdepartmental governance arrangements, including an Interdepartmental Steering Committee. Tasmania, along with other jurisdictions, has also been participating in regular national taskforce meetings. The Steering Committee will oversee the development of an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations, with priority actions to be agreed and progressed first.

The Government has closely monitored the work of the Royal Commission and has already taken action across a number of areas covered by the Commission’s reports. This includes:

  • legislative changes to abolish limitation periods for civil claims arising from childhood sexual and physical abuse;
  • reforms to Tasmania’s criminal and sentencing laws;
  • improvements to the Out of Home Care system through both the Strategic Plan For Out Of Home Care In Tasmania 2017-2019 and as part of the Strong Families, Safe Kids project.

Information about Tasmania’s participation in the National Redress Scheme.