The author has recently become aware of a call by Justice Peter McClellan for an extension of time for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
At present, the Commission is to due be wrapped up by the end of 2015, with an interim report due in the middle of this year.
Justice McClellan has called on Australian Attorney-General, George Brandis, to give the Commission another two years to complete its work.
Justice McClellan, noting some of the ‘victories’ already achieved by the Royal Commission, has warned that as many as 2,000 people may miss out on providing their stories to the Royal Commission. That number is almost certainly an underestimate, but even if we take this as the number of people who are yet to speak to the Commission, it certainly underscores the need for the Commission to be provided with the extension it requests.
Attorney-General George Brandis is aware of Mr McClellan’s request, which at this stage appears to be informal. Mr. Brandis has said that the request for more time:
“… hasn’t been formally sought yet but Justice McClellan did indicate to me that at the time the interim report is delivered to the Government in the middle of the year, I should expect an application or request for an extension of time.”
The present government needs to receive the message, loud and clear, that the Australian public wants to see the work of the Commission continue as long as is necessary to achieve its objectives. Compelling arguments are needed to get the current government to see the sense in extending the Commission’s work. So too are indications that the Australian public wants the Commission to go as long as is needed to complete its work.
In this regard, readers are urged to add their voices to a petition recently set up by Mr. Trevor McNamee that calls on George Brandis to accede to Justice McClellan’s request: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/extend-the-australian-royal-commission-into-child-sex-abuse-beyond-2015/sign.html#se
Some of the comments that have already been made in support of this petition are as follows:
“Please extend the Royal Commission so everyone can do their submission and so that all abuse providers can be inquired into.”
“Every one deserves to have their stories heard, they deserve to be Validated for the horrid crimes inflicted onto them.”
“I have been before the Royal Commission myself however there are many who have not had the chance. Maybe just maybe this can bring some type of closesure for many.”
“Every victim deserves to get to tell their story.”
“We need more time… There are thousands of us that need to be heard.”
“many people still haven’t come forward and it may be very difficult for them Time is much appreciated”
“The Royal Commission needs to be extended…there are still SO many stories to be told and recorded…”
“Justice delayed is justice denied.”
“The work of the Royal Commission is incredibly important. As you know, it had overwhelming public support. If its head says more time is needed, it is needed. This should be taken very seriously. Australian society wants the mess of institutional child abuse cleaned up. Please listen to what people are saying about the need for more time. People are fed up with institutions that fail to protect children. If economic considerations are an issue to the current government, please don’t consider this a cost to government in difficult economic times. Child abuse costs society as well as its victims and their families. It’s been estimated that the cost to society of each instance of child abuse can be as much as $1 million. If you have to make a decision based on economics, please understand that the Royal Commission will deliver multiples in terms of ‘return on investment’. More importantly, however, there are still many who need to have their cases heard, and may not. They deserve to be heard. Please provide hope to those who wish to see the Royal Commission continue its work by providing an immediate positive response to Justice Peter McClellan’s call for a 2-year extension.”
Read more here:
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION: HELP OBTAIN JUSTICE FOR LEWIS BLAYSE FROM THE SALVATION ARMY.