Justice McClellan has advised that the Royal Commission has in place a 1800 telephone number which is 1800 099 340. The commissioner is presently putting in place trained staff which is a matter of the highest priority. You can call the 1800 number which will at present simply take your details. Alternatively, personal details can be left on the Royal Commission’s website. This will enable the Commission to follow up persons later on who wish to give evidence or make submissions. The official website is childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au.
Preparatory work has commenced. But many further tasks must be undertaken and skilled personnel have to be engaged before the Commission can commence the evidence gathering process. Justice McClellan has advised that it may be some months before the progress of the Commission will be apparent to the general public. Its primary office will be in Sydney. But evidence will be gathered in many locations throughout Australia.
The Royal Commission is in the process of establishing a research capacity. It will also be assisted by a legal team drawn from the Australian Government solicitor. Gail Furness, SC, has been appointed counsel assisting the commission. It will be necessary to appoint more barristers to assist because of the size of Commission’s task. There are many matters to be resolved and resources which will have to be put in place before the Commission can start holding public hearings. A commencement date for the public sittings has not yet been given. Justice McClellan has assured the public that its work will be conducted as efficiently as the emerging issues will allow. The Royal Commission’s website will be frequently updated to ensure that the public are kept informed.