The Australian Greens have expressed their admiration for the courage of survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and their strong support for survivors’ ongoing pursuit of justice.
“Yesterday was a very important, although a difficult day for many people and it resurfaced many traumatic issues for survivors, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Families and Communities said.
“It has been a privilege to work with and listen to survivors during the National Apology Reference Group process.
“Their strength is truly formidable and they have continued to pursue justice, despite many powerful institutions having done their best to cover up systemic crimes against children and families over many years.
“This does not end with sorry and it’s clear that survivors will continue to pursue justice and measures that ensure that children are safe.
“Questions to the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet last night at Estimates has revealed that officers were not aware that the new National Office of Child Safety would be moved to PM&C until the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday.
“While this is something the Royal Commission recommended and is supported by survivors, it smacks of policy on the fly and begs the question as to why the Office wasn’t placed in PM&C in the first place.
“Unfortunately due to the policy on the fly approach PM&C were unable to explain in Estimates how the child safety framework and the National Child Safety Office would interact, the process of handover and how the framework would interact with other agencies who are responsible for implementation of the working with children checks.
“We need to ensure that all recommendations of the royal commission are implemented and properly funded and that perpetrators and the people and intuitions who shielded them are brought to justice.
“We also have to make sure that children and people in institutional care settings and out-of-home care right now are safe. We have record numbers of First Nations children in out of home care and shamefully high rates of abuse and neglect of disabled people.
“The Greens will also continue to pursue justice and redress for survivors of institutional abuse including Forgotten Australians and the Stolen Generations.
“We also remember, acknowledge and pay tribute to those who could not be with us.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180