The stories to come out of the royal commission into child sex abuse so far have been both scary and shameful.
They have made it clear that something in the way society, institutions and individuals in this country have dealt with claims of child sexual abuse in the past – and continue to do so – needs to dramatically change.
This change is something that our society needs to support. That our Government needs to support.
And yet, today we have learned that the Federal Government has diverted $7 million in funding from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to the inquiry into the previous Government’s home insulation program.
Back in February, Attorney General Senator Brandis said that it was his understanding that ”no money has been taken away from anywhere else” for the second inquiry into the home insulation program.
The $19 million cost of the inquiry, is being shared by the environment department, the industry department and the Senator Brandis’ Attorney-General’s department.
But Senator Brandis was wrong. And wrong about his own department’s spending.
It has since been revealed that $4 million of funding from the Attorney-General’s budget was redirected from savings outlined in the budget from the royal commission into child sex abuse – while another $2.7 million was redirected because it was “not required in 2013-14 for financial assistance for legal costs and related expenses for witnesses to the RCIRCSA”.
In other words, the call was made that some witnesses did not require legal assistance during the inquiry.
The Labor Opposition is now demanding an explanation as to why the Abbott Government has moved almost $7 million dollars from the Royal Commission into child sex abuse – set up by the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November 2012 – into an inquiry into Labor’s pink batts scheme.