Child welfare report calls for church abuse inquiry

ABC – The World Today

Liz Hobday reported this story on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ELEANOR HALL: The report from the Cummins Inquiry into vulnerable children in Victoria has made wide-ranging recommendations to improve the State Government’s child protection systems.

But committee also recommended changes to the way that religious organisations deal with abuse, and it says a new investigation is needed to look at that issue.

In Melbourne, Liz Hobday reports.

LIZ HOBDAY: The Cummins report isn’t short on advice. After a year looking into child welfare in Victoria it’s made more than 90 recommendations.

Among the more controversial is the recommendation that religious ministers should be subject to the mandatory reporting of child abuse.

Here’s the Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge on ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine program:

MARY WOOLDRIDGE: Well another obviously very controversial and important recommendation…

JON FAINE: It shouldn’t be controversial. Why should it be controversial?

MARY WOOLDRIDGE: Well, because any extension to mandatory reporting from a system we’ve had that’s been in place for 15 years has implications but we…

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