Almost $1.8 million in seized proceeds of crime funding will be provided to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s proposed ‘Keeping Australia’s Kids Safe Program’.
The program is a national campaign that aims to increase awareness, confidence and the abilities of parents, carers and teachers to identify and respond to child sexual abuse.
Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said he was proud to support the Foundation’s three-year program, especially through using seized criminal assets and proceeds of crime to reinvest back into the community and the futures of Australian children and families.
“This new program will complement the Government’s existing efforts to address children with harmful sexual behaviours, arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,” Mr Dutton said.
“We are using proceeds of crime funding to help protect our most vulnerable Australians from such abuse.
“As a Government, we are committed to stamping out child sexual abuse in all forms and we are proud to work with community partners such as the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which has created such a positive child protection legacy out of a terrible tragedy.
“I pay tribute to Bruce and Denise Morcombe on this important day, who are warriors for this cause and have fought so hard for real action and change to fight these abhorrent crimes,” Mr Dutton said.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said that the funding reflected the Morrison Government’s commitment to protecting children across the nation.
“The Keeping Australia’s Kids Safe Program HQ will be based at Daniel House, right here on the Sunshine Coast, but it is a national education campaign that will see activities delivered in every state and territory capital, as well as programs in regional and remote areas,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Protecting children and fighting these crimes is a whole of community responsibility.”
The funding of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation continues the Government’s commitment to combat the scourge of child sexual abuse, both in Australia and overseas.
Last month the Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by the Parliament, implementing other Royal Commission recommendations by introducing new offences for Commonwealth officials who fail to report and fail to protect children from child sexual abuse. It also addressed evolving trends, including the rise in online child abuse material and importation of child-like sex dolls.
In 2018, the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation was established in Brisbane, which brings together all levels of government, law enforcement, the private sector and international partners to substantially boost the national fight against these crimes.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child sexual abuse are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppers.com.au