The Liberal State Government has put the acid on priests in the confessional with it’s latest Media Release …

Here tis:

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has today released draft legislation which will lift the veil of the confessional for the purposes of reporting child sexual abuse.

The draft legislation reflects our intent to make people in religious ministry mandatory reporters of child sexual abuse and toughen laws against failing to report serious crimes.

All Tasmanians have been appalled by the shocking revelations of child sexual abuse which have emerged from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The findings of the Royal Commission have thrown the spotlight onto the way in which institutions across the spectrum have failed children in the past, and this Government is committed to doing all that is in its power to prevent it happening again.

As well as signing up to the National Redress Scheme, the Government is focusing on introducing measures that prioritise the safety of Tasmania’s children.

The draft legislation we are releasing for public consultation today will:

  • Broaden the list of who is a mandatory reporter for the purposes of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act to include people in religious ministry;
  • Introduce a new crime in the Criminal Code Act of failing to report a serious offence;
  • Exclude confessional privilege as a defence to non-reporting of child abuse; and
  • Broaden the scope of the ‘grooming offence’ in the Criminal Code to provide greater protection to young people.

This step makes it clear that all members of the community have an obligation to report abuse and do everything in their power to prevent child abuse. There is no excuse for failure to report the horrific abuse of children, least of all for institutions who have been named in the Royal Commission as failing to prevent child abuse in the past.

The legislation will also abolish the limitation period for the offence of assault with indecent intent to bring it into line with other sexual offences, and provide additional protections to young victims in reducing the number of times they have to give evidence, as well as provide protection to further classes of vulnerable victims.

Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Minister for Justice
2 October 2018

Labor supports new laws to break the seal of the confessional 

  • Religious leaders should not be exempt from reporting child sexual abuse
  • New laws are an important part of the National Redress Scheme
  • Everyone has a role to play in protecting children from abuse

Labor supports the Government’s move to introduce new laws to break the seal of the confessional and force religious leaders to report sexual abuse of children.

Shadow Minister for Justice, Ella Haddad, said all people in positions of trust should be subject to the same laws to keep our children safe.

“We heard thousands of horror stories through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and as law makers, we need to do everything in our power to ensure these abuses never happen again,” Ms Haddad said.

“That is why Labor is firmly behind the National Redress Scheme and why we support the decision to put children’s safety before religious conventions.

“Everyone in our community has a role to play in preventing sexual abuse of children.

“Health professionals and teachers are required by law to report child sexual abuse and religious leaders should be subject to the same requirements given they hold positions of trust in our communities.”