PM announces abuse inquiry

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has agreed to a royal commission into institutional responses to allegations of child abuse in Australia.

The royal commission will be recommended by Ms Gillard to the governor-general and the terms of reference would be worked on in coming weeks, before the persons to lead with inquiry are appointed.

"I want to get this right," the Prime Minister said.

"So over the next few weeks we will be consulting with the organisations that represent the survivors of child abuse, with religious organisations, with state and territory government to ensure the terms of reference are right."

Ms Gillard said she had already spoken to the premiers of NSW and Victoria, states which are already pursuing their own inquiries.

"Both of them are prepared to take a cooperative approach," she said.

Ms Gillard said any instance of child abuse was a vile and evil thing, she told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

"Australians know, from the revelations that they've read in recent weeks that too many children have suffered child abuse but have also seen other adults let them down.

"They've not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so."

Australians want to see action taken, she said.

They don't want to see institutions fail again to deal with allegations of abuse.

"I hope that this royal commission can guide us to that place," Ms Gillard said.

The terms of reference will include children that were in the care of religious organisations, state care and schools - private and state.We need to learn lessons about how institutions can best respond when there are allegations of sex abuse, she said.

More to come

This story PM announces abuse inquiry first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.