Child abuse `tsunami' forecast

THE nation's royal commission into child abuse will unleash a ``tsunami'' of allegations in Tasmania, a child protection advocacy group says.

Bravehearts Tasmanian spokesman Stephen Noone said yesterday that the group had been calling for a royal commission for 15 years.

Welcoming the inquiry's broad terms of reference, announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Friday,  Mr Noone said that he expected a ``tsunami'' of Tasmanians to come forward with abuse allegations.

Beyond Abuse spokesman Steve Fisher also praised the reach of the inquiry, to be headed by New South Wales Supreme Court judge Peter McClellan.

The other five commissioners are former Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson, former Victorian president of the Children's Court Justice Jennifer Coate, Productivity Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald, consultant psychiatrist Professor Helen Milroy and former West Australian senator Andrew Murray.

Mr Fisher said the commissioners were not all lawyers, which was good.

He said the Family Court should be scrutinised by the commission, and it had not been made clear whether or not it would be included.

Mr Fisher said many people had complained to his group that the court did not properly investigate abuse allegations and sometimes awarded custody of children to adults who had unresolved allegations against them.

``It's absolutely fantastic,'' he said of the terms of reference.

``The fact that they are so broad will give them the power to investigate every institution that they need to.''


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