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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 help us to protect our community’s most vulnerable from the impacts of abuse.

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

On 15 December 2020, the Tasmanian Government released its Third Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2021 on implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations. The Progress Report builds on the foundations of the First-Year Progress Report and Action Plan 2018-19 and the Second Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2020.

Read the Tasmanian Government’s Third Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2021 (external link)

Read the Third Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2021 – Appendix A (external link)

Read the Tasmanian Government’s Second Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2020 (external link)

Read the Second year Progress Report and Action Plan 2020 - Appendix A (external link)

Read the Tasmanian Government’s First Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2018-2019 (external link)

Read the Tasmanian Government’s response (external link)

Read the Australian Government’s response (external link)

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 (external link).

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.

In 2020, the Tasmanian Government has undertaken a number of significant law reforms arising from the recommendations of the Royal Commission including:

  • the passage of the Evidence (Children and Special Witnesses) Amendment Act 2020 establishing a 3-year Pilot Intermediary Scheme for Tasmania; and
  • releasing for consultation the legislative framework for Child Safe Organisations, incorporating the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Principles for Child Safe Organisations and the Royal Commission’s Child Safe Standards.

Read more information about Tasmania’s participation in the National Redress Scheme.