Child abuse inquiry recommendations (26.03.2014)

Written on the 2 April 2014

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) - Last November I tabled in this chamber the report entitled Betrayal of Trust on the inquiry undertaken by the Family and Community Development Committee.

In the chamber at the time was the Premier. He - like many Victorians - was horrified at the extent of what the inquiry found and the report that I tabled on that day. The Premier spoke on the day after I tabled the report. He came out and said he will act immediately to protect the children of Victoria.

Within a month of my tabling the report, laws were introduced into this Parliament about grooming.

Yesterday there was an announcement by the Attorney-General and the Premier in relation to further strengthening our criminal law with the introduction of new laws to further protect children from sexual abuse, involving a new child endangerment offence and compulsory reporting to police. Both of these crimes will carry jail sentences, and I want to commend the Attorney-General for the work he has undertaken in getting these reforms into the Parliament so swiftly.

They come in light of the royal commission that is looking into the issue of child sexual abuse. Noting that ours is state-based legislation, the Attorney-General has worked extremely hard to put these laws into place. The government has six months to act and report on the inquiry's report and I commend the swift action of the Attorney-General on these very important measures to protect Victoria's children.

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