Tasmanian government releases second progress report on Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission recommendations

The Second Annual Progress Report and Action Plan 2020 outlines the state's response to date and planned actions for next year.

Of the 189 recommendations handed down by the commission in 2017, 105 are relevant to the Tasmanian government.

Key law reforms arising from the recommendations implemented in Tasmania include a new crime of failing to report child sex abuse and the abrogation of the confessional privilege for the purposes of the new crime and mandatory reporting obligations.

The state has also introduced a statutory duty on organisations engaged in children-related services and reforms to enable the identification of a proper defendant.

The establishment of the Child Abuse Royal Commission Response Unit in July 2019, to coordinate the state's response to and implementation of the commission's recommendations, resulted in 100 per cent of claims against Tasmanian government agencies in 2018-19 being responded to within statutory time frames.

Attorney-General Elise Archer said Tasmania's ongoing work has been recognised by stakeholders with feedback the state's legislative initiatives place Tasmania among the most proactive jurisdictions in terms of implementing the commission's recommendations.

"The Hodgman majority Liberal government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe, better protecting our vulnerable children and supporting victims who have been affected," Ms Archer said.

Larger reform projects which will continue in 2020 include:

  • finalising plans for the redevelopment of Ashley Youth Detention Centre,
  • finalising the scope of a three-year Pilot Intermediary Scheme for Tasmania,
  • finalising the scope of a legislative framework for Child Safe Organisations in Tasmania, incorporating the Australian Human Rights Commission's Principles for Child Safe Organisations and the Royal Commission's Child Safe standards, and
  • finalising key deliverables under the Out-of-Home Care Foundations Project.

A tender process for the construction of the building upgrade to the AYDC will be undertaken next year.

"Alongside the AYDC redevelopment, work is continuing to develop a therapeutic approach for young people detained in the facility ... encompassing programs for young people, systems and processes to support practice, and staff training, supervision and support," the report said.

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