Nov 20, 2012

Royal commission a step closer, but will it be on Abbott’s watch?

The government's development of the royal commission terms of reference takes an unprecedented approach. But will it be an Abbott government doing most of the work on it?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The government’s discussion paper on the terms of reference for the royal commission into institutional child s-x abuse carefully picks its way through a number of difficult issues, all without offering a settled view. It is, after all, a discussion paper.

One commissioner or more? Probably more, it suggests. That’s about as definite as it gets. It proposes several possible mechanisms for establishing information-sharing and appropriate powers vis-à-vis the states. It flags the commission will take years, but suggests a timeline (extendable on the recommendation of the commissioners) for interim reports and recommendations. It suggests the commission might want to make sure that its processes don’t clash with current or looming criminal prosecutions. It should look at previous work, particularly if it means people don’t have to recount their abuse again.

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5 thoughts on “Royal commission a step closer, but will it be on Abbott’s watch?

  1. Edward James

    This Royal Commission is answerable to no one political party, it will be in place to do what the victims have been calling for for decades. Once set in motion it can’t be stopped. The terms of reference are the next important part in moving forward. we do not want what happened with the inquiry expected to look again at the Heiner Affair in Queensland among other issues. Having its terms of reference restricted on a point of law. Restricting what the meaning of the word “government” meant as the scope was deemed too broad a field for investigation. Edward James

  2. Mark from Melbourne

    Couldn’t believe Paul Kelly was actually still in this dimension when he wrote his rave. Quite unbelievably detached from reality and swinging wildly at anything he was upset with.

    I tried to resist but couldn’t help wondering: Kelly-Irish-Catholic??? Seemed quite out of character I must say.

  3. AR

    Polonius just gets wronger by the day, don’t he? Shorley time he was put out to grass or sent to the glue factory.

  4. Steve777

    Bipartisanship in calling setting up a Royal Commission is a very rare indeed. This RC is to address issues that concern pretty much everyone regardless of their politics. There is a desire on the part of all involved to both get it right and, for the most part, not play politics with it. The old saw that you don’t call an enquiry unless you know the result (and it is one which will embarrass the opposition) doesn’t apply here. For example, expect Royal Commissions into alleged misdeeds of unions and unionists when Tony Abbott takes power. In this case, while we know that it’s going to find some pretty appalling stuff, there seem to be no obvious political implications for either side. However, the full outworkings of what this commission will find can only be guessed at at this stage.

    P.S. I haven’t read the Australian recently. I stopped buying it when it started openly campaigning for regime change like its tabloid stablemates and pushing voodoo climate science. It does seem from this article that Paul Kelly’s output has deteriorated in the last couple of years.

  5. Carl Peterson

    This Royal Commission under Tony Abbot’s watch would be the ultimate “Fox in charge of the hen’s house” cliche. Abbot would do anything to protect his Church and derail any efforts that could deliver justice to the victims.

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