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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 2 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 475..


MR BARR: I imagine very little, but I will take some advice on that matter. Whilst I appreciate the opposition's interest in public art, this level of detail in relation to this particular rollover is not something that you would ordinarily have in front of you in question time. I will take some advice and get back to the member.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, how much is the element of artists' schedule costing the territory?

MR BARR: I refer the member to my previous answer.

MADAM SPEAKER: Treasurer, does it mean you are taking it on notice?

MR BARR: Yes, I will.

Children and young people—abuse

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister update the Assembly on the progress of the commonwealth's establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and what arrangements are being made in relation to the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. This is a very serious matter, with the royal commission being established by the federal government and with respect to how it will operate across various jurisdictions. The royal commission will focus on systemic failure in Australian institutions and it will also ensure that experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse in these institutions are heard and acknowledged and that appropriate support is provided. It will be making recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutionalised care.

Six commissioners from different regions of Australia with extensive experience, qualifications and expertise in children's rights, mental health, law enforcement and disadvantage have been appointed to undertake the commission. The terms of reference were released in early January 2013 after broad consultation with the opposition, the states, non-profit groups, churches and victims.

The commissioners met in mid-January 2013 for initial discussions on how the commission will operate and determine its processes. The commonwealth has proposed to amend the Royal Commissions Act so that formal hearings do not require all commissioners to be present.

For the ACT, the commonwealth government will rely upon the territories power under section 122 of the constitution in its application to the royal commission. The territories power allows the commission full authority to operate the royal commission in the ACT. This approach has been resolved bilaterally with the commonwealth as it reduces legal complexity and risk.


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