This week the Government released its response to the Royal Commission into child sex abuse. I welcome it. A redress Scheme has been established, which will involve compensation and counselling for survivors and a national apology will be given.
The Royal Commission also recommended the removal of secrecy of admissions of child sex abuse given during a religious confession. The ACT and South Australian Governments have announced they will legislate to oblige this. The churches should also cooperate without qualification.
The Royal Commission also recommended that vows of celibacy for certain orders of Priests and Brothers be made voluntary, not mandatory. The data presented to the Commission by the Catholic Church shows that celibate priests had a significantly higher rate of offenders is compelling.
These matters should not be swept under the carpet.
Bromance in Singapore
There’s an outbreak of affection between the leaders of North Korea and the US. The much-vaunted meeting has produced a commitment to work towards denuclearisation of the peninsular and a formal end to hostilities. We hope that actions follow.
There are also talks afoot to discover what happened to servicemen who went missing in action in the war. This is important unfinished business.
A really dumb decision
In a Melbourne Cup field of dumb decisions from the Turnbull Government; its plan to close the Warrawong Centrelink is one of the dumbest moves yet. It comes 10 years after Labor reopened a Medicare office in Warrawong and 20 years after a previous attempt to close the service. Sharon Bird and I are fighting to ensure it does not happen.
I’ll be participating again this year. It’s a small sacrifice we make to draw attention to a big problem and to raise money for Vinnie’s. You can donate here.
Labor will restore ABC funding
Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, has announced that a Labor Government will restore the $83.7 million axed from the ABC by Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals in this year's Budget.
Queens Birthday Honours
Congratulations to local recipients of Queens Birthday honours - Lynette Thompson, President of Shellharbour Hospital Auxiliary and Peter May from Marine Rescue NSW. I was able to catch up with Lynette Thomas of the Shellharbour Hospital Auxiliary this week and congratulate her on her 30 years service to the hospital. Well done.