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23/7 Media Update

Therapeutic care, income management, church abuse inquiry and more…

Recently The Age announced government funding increases to provide more Therapeutic Residential Care places.
Doug Faircloth from Verso Consulting mentions that a recent evaluation demonstrates that “residential care did not heal traumatised youths” and the therapeutic program needs to be expanded.
Senior women from remote Aboriginal communities have called for income management programs to be extended.
The ABC News reported that these women believe children in their communities are suffering as a result of their exclusion from the government’s income management scheme.
They believe that the introduction of the program will reduce domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.
Former Liberal deputy leader Neil Brown called for a royal commission into child abuse within the Catholic Church. This piece outlines his opinions on why a parliamentary inquiry is doomed to fail, but a royal commission could successfully investigate past crimes.
Labour MP Frank McGuire supported Brown’s call for a royal commission, but suggested that if the Baillieu Government continues to refuse these requests, at the very least a “retired judge or eminent QC” should be appointed to assist in questioning witnesses and making recommendations to Parliament.
It has since been revealed that former Federal Court judge Anthony Whitlam has been appointed to lead an "independent" inquiry commissioned by the Catholic church.
The Herald Sun devoted its cover to a piece suggesting that the Government inquiry could result in priests being ordered to report confessions of child sex abuse.
The following day saw a number of letters to the editor published, with responses split on whether this potential legislation was a good idea or not.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has stated that claims of abuse within the church have been appallingly handled in the past.
The Age devoted its cover to a feature questioning whether childhood obesity should be grounds for removing kids from their parents (obesity was cited in at least two child protection court cases this year).
A DHS spokesperson said that obesity itself was not grounds for protective intervention, but “may be a symptom of other issues that could place a child at risk of harm that would warrant child-protection involvement”.
This story was further reported by most major outlets.
The ABC reported the Federal government’s commitment to $1 billion funding for pay rises within the community and social services sector.
The Australian has reported warnings from Queensland Police that new state laws imposing a mandatory life sentence on repeat child-sex offenders could lead abusers to kill victims, in order to not leave a witness.
The Queensland Child Protection Inquiry has begun with head Tim Carmody asked to “recuse” himself from his position.


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