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​NSW leads nation on Royal Commission progress

Published date: Monday, 10 December 2018

The NSW Government has confirmed its nation-leading response to recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with the release today of its first annual progress report to Parliament. 

“The NSW Government is committed to preventing and responding to child sexual abuse and supporting survivors, and while there is significant work ahead of us, we have made very substantial progress in the past 12 months,” Ms Goward said.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government was the first state to pass legislation enabling state-run and non-government institutions to join the National Redress Scheme and has implemented the most comprehensive reforms to improve access to justice for survivors.

“We have introduced the toughest child sexual abuse laws in the country, including maximum life imprisonment for persistent child sexual abuse and two new offences of failing to report child abuse and failure to protect children from abuse,” Mr Speakman said.

“Our changes to civil litigation laws make it easier for survivors to seek justice, including removing a technical defence which prevented survivors recovering damages from unincorporated associations including some churches. The NSW Government will continue reforming legislation, policies and practices to improve child safety and wellbeing across our state.”

NSW is investing $127 million of new money to implement responses to the Royal Commission through initiatives focused on preventing child sexual abuse, improving treatment and support for victims and survivors and strengthening the criminal justice response to child sexual abuse.

“We will continue to work in partnership with government and non-government organisations in the coming years to ensure the highest child-safety standards are in place and therapeutic services for child and adult survivors are expanded,” Ms Goward said.

Progress reports outlining the improvements NSW is making in response to the Royal Commission will be released annually for the next four years to the NSW Parliament and online. The report can be accessed at www.nsw.gov.au/royalcommission