Mp Wants Sex Abuse Reported

Banyule & Nillumbik Weekly
May 1, 2012

FEDERAL MP Rob Mitchell has called for the Baillieu government to introduce laws to compel the Catholic Church and other clergy to report allegations of child sexual abuse.

The federal MHR for McEwen has been lobbying to introduce mandatory reporting laws for clergy and religious organisations.

Under current legislation, doctors, police, nurses, midwives and teachers must report any suspected sex abuse.

Mr Mitchell said he was motivated to push for law reform after one of his constituents came to him after her son was abused by a priest who has since been charged.

"This goes beyond politics. It's about protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society," he said.

The recent Vulnerable Children's Inquiry called for mandatory reporting laws to be extended to childcare workers, youth and social workers, parole and probation officers and psychologists. The inquiry would not consider extending mandatory reporting to religious organisations without further consultation.

Mr Mitchell said he has written to Police Minister Peter Ryan, Attorney-General Robert Clark and Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge on "numerous occasions" without response.

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart told BNW he would support mandatory reporting applying to priests, outside of admissions made during confessional.

"It is up to the Victorian government to initiate such a move," he said.








Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.