Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Hon. R. SANDERSON: On Thursday 14 June 2018, this government released its response to the final report of the commonwealth's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The royal commission has importantly uncovered shocking cases of institutional abuse of children. The South Australian government is responsible for 104 recommendations out of the total of 189 in the 17-volume report; 22 of those 104 recommendations of the royal commission have been accepted, 44 accepted in principle, a further 37 are still being considered and one has not been accepted.

Each of the 104 recommendations has been allocated to a government agency. These agencies are responsible for implementing accepted recommendations and ensuring that the intent of each recommendation is met at a local level. I acknowledge the work of the Attorney-General's Department, the Department for Education, the Department for Health, the Department of Human Services and the Department for Child Protection for their work in the across-government response. One aspect of the royal commission recommends the involvement of each state in a national redress scheme, which the Premier and Attorney-General recently opted into.

Furthermore, as detailed in recent media, changes to the mandatory notification legislation have occurred, which are due to come into effect on 22 October 2018, which will require priests and ministers of religion to disclose information gained in the course of confession as part of their mandatory reporting requirements. This government encourages open and frank disclosure by ministers of religion both in and out of confession.

As a state, South Australia has and should continue to take the lead in sweeping reform of how we as a society protect our most vulnerable members from appalling abuse both inside institutions and out. The government will provide an updated response to the recommendations of the royal commission by the end of the year. The royal commission response can be accessed on the website at childprotection.sa.gov.au.