Media Releases - 17 December 2020

Commission of Inquiry – Draft Terms of Reference

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today welcomed the release of draft Terms of Reference for the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I’m thankful to have been able to provide my views last week on what I would broadly like the Terms of Reference to include and to have been briefed on the draft Terms of Reference today,” Ms McLean said.

“It’s extremely pleasing to see the Terms of Reference contain such a broad scope, as well as room for a child-centred approach, which I strongly support.

“I welcome the inclusion of a direction to the Commissioners to provide opportunities for those affected by child sexual abuse to share their experiences in appropriate ways, while recognising that many survivors will be severely traumatised or will have special support needs.

“This is particularly important for children who may want to tell their story to the Commission.”

Ms McLean said she understood the draft Terms of Reference will allow for the exploration of contemporary as well as historical matters.

“This is a position I support. We will learn a lot about how to improve our systems through this Commission of Inquiry.

“I also understand there is no intention to slow, or put on hold, the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse while the Commission of Inquiry is underway.

“This includes recommendations to establish a Childsafe Legislative Framework and a Reportable Conduct Scheme.

“In my view, the implementation of these important Royal Commission recommendations, along with establishing standards for out-of-home care and a carers register, should now be prioritised, and appropriately funded with robust independent oversight and regulation.”

Ms McLean said she looks forward to the finalisation of the Terms of Reference and commencement of the Commission of Inquiry as soon as possible.

“Anyone who is aware of allegations of child abuse has a duty to report this abuse to the appropriate authorities, including the Strong Families Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line on 1800 000 123 and to Tasmania Police.

“If you or someone you know needs help or support, there are services available. Some options include:
• Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
• 1800 Respect
• Lifeline on 13 11 14
• Sexual Assault Support Service 1800 6097 877
• National Redress Scheme Information Line 1800 146 713
• Relationships Australia 1300 364 277.”