Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 February 2018) . . Page.. 400 ..
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Lawder for her supplementary question but point out to her that work is actually underway in relation to reviewing this specific matter, so I reject the premise of the question that we disagree that it should be looked into.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—government response
MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Attorney-General. Can the attorney please update the Assembly on the government’s process for responding to the royal commission’s report?
MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. Certainly, the government is committed to taking strong and swift action on the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We are certainly committed to providing a response to the royal commission’s final report within six months. That means that by the end of this financial year the government will publicly explain what the recommendations mean for the ACT, and commit to specific action.
Law reform work, consultation across portfolios and engagement with community groups is already underway. The royal commission’s recommendations cross private institutions, government services, the criminal law and the courts. They are comprehensive, and this government is committed to a whole-of-government and comprehensive plan of action.
This government has already introduced criminal law reforms to implement some of the recommendations of the royal commission. Ensuring that what the royal commission has learned about how we prevent, respond to and then provide redress for abuse is an absolute, top priority for the government this year.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe and Mr Wall, your conversation makes it difficult for me and others to hear when a minister is on their feet.
MS CHEYNE: Can the minister provide the Assembly with an update on work to implement the royal commission’s recommendations about redress for survivors of child sexual abuse?
MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the supplementary question. The ACT is currently engaging with the commonwealth and with the states and territories to advocate for a scheme that lives up to the royal commission’s recommendations. That means substantial, meaningful support to help survivors put their lives back together. It also means requiring institutions to take responsibility and unreservedly apologising for the failings that allowed the abuse to occur. We have been and will keep working to make the redress scheme inclusive and one that measures up to the work of the royal commission.
I note that recently churches, psychiatrists and legal professionals have made submissions to the Senate inquiry into the commonwealth’s legislation to establish the scheme. They vocally supported recognising that survivors with criminal records are