Child abuse delay risk: Baker

In State Parliament last month, Attorney General Michael Mischin was asked questions about recommendations from the St Andrew�s Hostel special inquiry by Peter Blaxell.

There were five recommendations that included the need for improvements in reporting of child abuse, such as better education and outreach and better systems of receiving and referring complaints.

According to Maylands MLA Lisa Baker, Mr Mischin said the Commissioner for Children and Young People (CCYP) would provide a child abuse complaints support role in WA but not until the Federal Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse was completed in 2017.

Ms Baker said the community could not wait until 2017 for these changes.

�West Australians who have suffered abuse already feel betrayed by Mr Barnett�s broken promise to set up a �one-stop shop� to handle complaints,� she said.

�Children, young people and adults who need support to report abuse will suffer from the confusion and delays created by this Government.

�Child protection experts are justified in expressing their concern that by delaying these improvements, the government leaves vulnerable children and young people at higher risk of harm.�

Mr Mischin said Ms Baker�s comments were not supported by the facts.

�The Commissioner for Children and Young People has already, for over a year now, implemented outreach and other support programmes to address issues of institutional child abuse,� he said.

�The Government has given in- principle support to the Commissioner for Children and Young People having a role in the provision of child abuse complaints support role, as recommended in the review of the CCYP Act 2006.�