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Inquiry announcement

16 November 2012

THE Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, has announced a wide-ranging Royal Commission on child sexual abuse in churches and other organisations, which include government-run institutions. The move comes after growing calls for a high-level national inquiry into the Roman Catholic Church's handling of sexual-abuse complaints.

Recently, senior police in two states - Victoria and New South Wales - have accused the RC Church of continuing to cover up criminal activity. Survivor advocates have also lobbied for a national commission, saying that current and projected inquiries by state governments were too limited in their scope and capacity.

The RC Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has welcomed the commission, and has pledged full co-operation. The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, said that his diocese would "work and pray for an outcome which will result in a safer society for the most vulnerable".

Terms of reference are yet to be formulated for the commission, which is not expected to be established until next year. Reports suggest that it will cost tens of millions of dollars, and might take up to ten years to complete.


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