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Concern abuse claims not being taken seriousl -

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Concern abuse claims not being taken seriously

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

TONY JONES: The reaction to the Bali child abuse claims has been swift, with demands for the
Federal Government to make travellers more aware of the dangers of using childcare overseas. The
Foreign Minister spent much of the day defending his department's handling of the matter. But in
Bali, there are concerns that child abuse claims are not being taken seriously enough. Hamish
Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: There's been an angry reaction to the child abuse allegations, and the Sydney
shock jocks were on the offensive.

RAY HADLEY, 2GB: How many children do you have and would you be happy for your children to be going
to the Little Star Club at the Sheraton Nusa Dua knowing a three-year-old contracted gonorrhoea -
yes or no?

ALEXANDER DOWNER, FOREIGN MINISTER: If I was rude to you, I would say that that is a preposterous
thing to say, obviously.

RAY HADLEY: You're a pompous dope, that's what you are - you're a pompous dope.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Don't be so bloody rude.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The Foreign Minister has had a tough day explaining his department's handling
of the matter.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: People should understand that childcare centres in other countries - at least,
many of them - simply do not meet the standards of childcare in Australia. The staff are often not
as well trained, the whole environment is not necessarily as safe, and, you know, people must check
out these childcare centres before they put their children in those childcare centres. Now, in this
particular case in Bali it was two very tragic incidents, but we did have the Federal Police join
with the investigation to try and find out what happened.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Anti-child abuse campaigners in Bali say work is being done to tackle the
problem on the island. A workshop was conducted there last year with Australian and Indonesian
police. Health professionals say one of the problems with child abuse claims on Bali is getting
them taken seriously.

the prosecutors and judges as well. They must also realise there's a problem. If the legal
profession is not aware, what's the use of public awareness only?

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: In Australia, anti-child abuse workers are demanding the Federal Government do
more to warn people about the potential dangers of using childcare centres in other countries.

HETTY JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BRAVEHEARTS: A blanket warning for Australian parents taking
Australian children overseas and placing their trust in these hotel chains and motel chains should
have been given to give Australians the opportunity to make informed choices.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The Opposition says it will seek a full briefing on the matter from the
minister's office and the Foreign Affairs Department. Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.