Child sex abuse commission to alert police

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse is prepared to hear testimony from anybody who has ever been abused and will pass information onto police along the way, rather than than wait ''years'' until the Commission has concluded.

A discussion paper released late Monday by the secretariat of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse says the Commission ''should provide an opportunity for those affected by child sexual abuse to share their experiences if that is their wish''.

''The Commission will be able to refer matters to the relevant police authorities. This could be done during the course of the Royal Commission, but investigation and prosecution would ultimately be a matter for the relevant authorities to pursue.''

The paper has been sent to state and territory leaders as part of the consultation process to develop the terms of reference and is open to comment for a week.

It pressures the states to establish the same Royal Commission which would effectively make it a joint federal/state Royal Commission, giving it the ''reach it needs to undertake its important work''.

''To do its job, the Commission will need access to information held by state governments so that no individual, institution or organisation can avoid scrutiny if the Royal Commission considers there is a need for such scrutiny,'' it says.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett refused on Monday to endorse the Commission in this way but says he supports the inquiry and will not obstruct it.

The discussion paper says ''alternatively, States and Territories could provide the Commissioners with powers to investigate matters within their jurisdictions''.

It confirms the Commission will take years and more than one commissioner will be needed.

The discussion paper came as the first political differences over the Royal Commission began to appear.

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne said the government ''jumped the gun'' on the Royal Commission because it announced it before settling the details.


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