Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

    State Government delivering on commitments following Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

    8/04/2022 10:10 AM
     
    • The State Government making significant progress on recommendations following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
    • The Royal Commission 2021 Progress Report confirms a further 16 recommendations have been completed, taking the total number progressed to 143
    • $3.7 million is being invested to support the expansion of mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse and the investigation of offences
    • An online training program to assist new mandatory reporters in understanding their role and requirements is being implemented

    The State Government is making significant progress on recommendations to better protect children following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission).

     

    The fourth Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

     

    Western Australia has completed a further 16 new recommendations against the 310 the State Government is responsible for implementing.

     

    In total, 143 recommendations have now been completed just four years into the 10-Year implementation plan, with substantial progress made against remaining recommendations.

     

    The State Government is investing $1.7 million to support the expansion of mandatory reporting in WA and $2 million to support compliance with mandatory reporting.

     

    Progress achieved in the past year includes the significant step of passing the Children and Community Services Amendment Act 2021, which delivered on the commitment to require Ministers of Religion to report child sexual abuse, including when information is gained during religious confession.

     

    Safety of children is at the heart of the mandatory reporting reforms and will better protect children by increasing the number of people who are legally required to report child sexual abuse.

     

    The changes extend mandatory reporters to include early childhood workers, out-of-home care workers, registered psychologists, school counsellors and youth justice workers. Assessors who visit residential care and secure care facilities, and all officers of the Department of Communities, will also be required to report child sexual abuse.

     

    To support those aims, the Department of Communities is implementing an online mandatory reporter training program to assist new reporters in understanding their role and requirements under the Children and Community Services Amendment Act 2021.

     

    Other key activities and achievements completed in 2021 include:

    • progression of a Bill through Parliament to introduce a Reportable Conduct Scheme;
    • investment of $2 million to build research and evidence-based practices for responding to child sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviours; and
    • the continuation of support provided to survivors of abuse through the administration of the National Redress Scheme and a contribution by the State Government of $42 million for payments to National Redress Scheme applicants.

    The successful implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations will better protect children from harm as a result of abuse.

     

    Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:

     

    "The State Government is continuing to make significant progress in implementing the 310 recommendations relevant to Western Australia through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

     

    "Just four years into the 10-Year implementation, WA has already achieved 46 per cent of its targets, with substantial progress made on remaining recommendations.

     

    "It's critically important work. We are fortunate to have the recommendations of the Royal Commission to give us clear guidelines to improve child safety. In particular, we are indebted to victims of child sex abuse who bravely told their stories and whose legacy this work honours.

     

    "The steps being taken are leading to better outcomes that are helping to keep children safe and reduce the risk of child sexual abuse occurring."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 6600