Royal Commission's visit creates greater understanding

Michael Beaumont-Connop

Michael Beaumont-Connop

PEOPLE now have a greater understanding of the workings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, says Michael Beaumont-Connop.

About 100 people attended the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse's forum at the Bendigo town hall on Wednesday evening.

Mr Beaumont-Connop is the Loddon Campaspe Centre Against Sexual Assault chief executive and said the public forum was very informative.

"One of the things that does come through from the Royal Commission's public forums that I've been to is that people have spoken to the Commissioner in a private session, been well-received, and then gone away to wait for a justice related outcome," Mr Beaumont-Connop said.

"These people who come along to the public forums often stand up and they are feeling frustrated because they've been waiting, sometimes for over a year, and they haven't heard anything.

"Justice Coates was really able to speak to that well, I thought, and I think to the people who asked that question.

"She said there's been 1800 private sessions now, and 1700 written accounts, and there's 2000 waiting to have a private session,

"Their terms of reference expires at the end of 2015 and they've asked the government for an extension.

"So her answer was, given that, they have made a decision as a group of Commissioners that they don't want to follow some of the allegations given in private settings until they've gathered all of the available evidence, and that might include another 2000 persons, so that the recommendations they make are the most robust and powerful recommendations that the Royal Commission can make."

Mr Beaumont-Connop acknowledged the courage required for people to come to such an event and ask questions.

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