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Australia Job not over after child abuse inquiry

17:09  14 december  2017
17:09  14 december  2017 Source:   msn.com

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The head of the royal commission that exposed decades of inaction and cover-ups of child sexual abuse wants the leaders of Australian institutions to set aside any resentment and enact real change.

Victims and child protection advocates say the job is far from over after the end of the $500 million five-year inquiry, demanding immediate action from governments, churches, charities and other organisations that failed children so badly.

Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said many institutions and government agencies now accept they failed and must make changes, but also warned of possible holdouts.

"There may be leaders and members of some institutions who resent the intrusion of the royal commission into their affairs," Justice McClellan told the inquiry's final sitting in Sydney on Thursday.

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"However, if the problems we have identified are to be adequately addressed, changes must be made.

"There must be changes in the culture, structure and governance practices of many institutions."

After exposing a national tragedy involving tens of thousands of children being sexually abused over decades in more than 4000 institutions, the royal commission will recommend widespread changes by governments and organisations.

After exposing a national tragedy involving tens of thousands of children being sexually abused over decades in more than 4000 institutions, the royal commission will recommend widespread changes by governments and organisations. © Getty Images After exposing a national tragedy involving tens of thousands of children being sexually abused over decades in more than 4000 institutions, the royal commission will recommend widespread changes by governments and organisations.

It will be up to governments and institutions to implement the recommendations in the commission's final report to be released on Friday, which will add to its existing calls for reforms in the criminal and civil justice systems.

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Survivor Joan Isaacs said the royal commission left no stone unturned in identifying the horrific nature and extent of institutional abuse and the sheer scale of cover-ups.

"The job of the commission is done, but the journey is not over. There is much to do," she said.

"Survivors want justice from the institutions in which they were abused and from those who covered up and protected the abusers. We are owed that."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not commit to implementing all of the commission's recommendations before the federal government has had time to carefully consider the report, although he noted it has already acted on a national redress scheme.

Mr Turnbull said the long and sad story of victims who had been wronged so gravely and betrayed by authorities was one that had to be told.

"It had to be told so that justice can be done to those who were wronged, justice can be brought to bear to those who wronged them and above all that we make sure it never happens again," Mr Turnbull said.

"That's my commitment, to do everything we can to ensure it never happens again."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said governments and institutions including churches should support the commission's recommendations.

"Australians of good conscience should unanimously get behind this report and help fulfil and restore some of the betrayed and broken trust for young people which they suffered for decades," he said.

Justice McClellan paid tribute to the thousands of abuse survivors who shared their stories with the inquiry and helped it identify what should be done to make institutions safer for children.

Survivor Ray Leary urged other victims to come forward.

"I'd just like to let everyone know it's your time now.

"Everyone's listening now. No more tears for us."

Anglican Church bishop to sell off churches in order to fund abuse compensation .
<p>A NSW Anglican Bishop says he will not back down from plans to sell more than a dozen churches in the Central West to pay more than $2 million in redress to victims of child sex abuse.</p>There has been uproar in the small parish community of St Aidan's Anglican Church, at Black Springs in Oberon, after the Bishop of Bathurst, Ian Palmer, wrote to parishioners informing them the church would be shut and sold.

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