House debates

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Matters of Public Importance

National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018, National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018; Second Reading

6:09 pm

Photo of Russell BroadbentRussell Broadbent (McMillan, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

While I'm not listed to speak on the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018, I have just listened to a number of addresses in this House. I identify with every one of them—but particularly that of the member for Hunter, who has just spoken and suggested that Hunter was the epicentre of this issue. I put to the member for Hunter that the area is no less guilty than any part of the rest of Australia. There's no epicentre for this. The epicentre for this issue was every situation in every room in every building in every institution and every household where it was perpetrated. That was the epicentre—no particular area; not the Hunter.

We all have experiences which I'm not prepared to describe here, or public interactions which I won't go into. People were sent from one parish to another or away to another country. And too many stood by.

The only thing I would say about this today is this. Even though the royal commission has struck into the heart of the issue and exposed this for what it is, it still hasn't scratched the surface of the horribleness of this across this nation and the amount of abuse that occurred, that is not declared, that is not open, that hasn't reached its fulfilment, that hasn't been exposed. There's no road to take to get to that. I'm not suggesting there is a road to take. But I just want to identify with all of those kids out there who have suffered and who have not told their story; who have not made a commitment; who have not said anything for the whole of their lives, and won't. But they'll go on and live with the struggle, knowing that they're a little different or feeling they're a little different, and working through the days that they do in the full knowledge that they have a future and an opportunity in this great south land. And they'll walk away from their past and they'll stick it in a box and they'll forget it and they'll go on.

So I just repeat, and say to the member for Hunter: no; your area was not the epicentre. The epicentre was for all of us to consider and address in our own areas. Thanks for letting me speak.


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