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Local Government conference to push for national Royal Commission into child abuse.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Family & Community Services

Dated: 07 November 2005 Press Release Number: lnucmimp Portfolio: Family & Community Services

Local Government Conference to Push for National Royal Commission into Child Abuse

Australian Democrats Deputy Leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett, today renewed calls for a national Royal Commission into child abuse.

Speaking at Parliament House press conference held by participants at the Local Government Association (LGA) National General Assembly, Senator Bartlett welcomed the commitment by the NSW LGA to tackle this issue head on.

On October 25th, the NSW LGA Annual Conference adopted a motion condemning child sexual assault and calling on governments to establish a national Royal Commission. The following motion is to be put to the LGA National General Assembly tomorrow:

'That the National General Assembly of Local Government calls on the Federal Coalition Government, the Opposition and all Federal Politicians to establish a Royal Commission into sexual assault of children in Australia.'

"To have local government advocating national action demonstrates that the political will to address the tragedy of child abuse is there. Members from all parties recognise the seriousness of the issue, but without agreement from the heads of government, there will be no progress," Senator Bartlett said.

"The Prime Minister is more concerned with perceived threats than the major and continuing reality of child abuse. All political attention is focused on possible terrorist attacks and bird-flu pandemics, yet there is the long-standing pandemic of child abuse.

"This is the real threat to society, happening in our own homes, schools and institutions.

"A national approach is the only way to prevent our children from being victims of abuse. It is a national shame if our governments compound abuse by refusing to act."

Senator Bartlett has been calling for a Royal Commission into child abuse since the controversy surrounding the then Governor-General, Dr Peter Hollingsworth.