THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
MEMBER FOR HUNTERCHIEF GOVERNMENT WHIP___________________________________________________________
12 November 2012
It has become clear to me that it’s in the interests of the victims, their families andthe Catholic Church, that a Royal Commission be conducted into allegations of thesystemic cover up of sexual abuse.The victims and their families need and deserve an assurance that no crimes or serious breaches of trust and responsibility have gone unpunished and that actionhas been taken to ensure that no such crimes or breaches can occur in the future. Itis clear that only the powers of a Royal Commission can adequately deliver thoseassurances.Further, the Catholic Church will struggle to re-build its reputation while ever questions about institutional wrongs are not properly tested. Worse, the Church willremain subject to all kinds of allegations and innuendo unless a formal process isestablished. And all the Church’s on-going good work will pass unnoticed andunappreciated until the allegations are properly dealt with. Today I shared theseviews with Bishop Bill Wright.Of course the Royal Commission should not be restricted to the Hunter region. If we’ve only learned one lesson of late it’s that these problems are not confined to anyone region or indeed, any one state.Finally, allegations that current laws and law enforcement methods have beeninadequate has surely undermined public confidence in the justice system and givenabuse has been evident in other institutions, consideration should be given tobroadening the inquiry to matters beyond the Catholic Church.
Christine Boyd 0488 654 527
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