Role of states and territories
Cooperation between Australian governments
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made recommendations to the Australian Government and to state and territory governments that benefit from national consistency and cooperation.
The Australian Government is working closely with states and territories and also taking a national leadership role where appropriate. Details of progress being made by all Australian governments working together can be found in the Australian Government’s annual progress reports. All states and territories also publish their own annual progress reports.
National priority recommendations
All Australian governments have agreed to work together to prioritise a set of national priority recommendations that focus on:
- supporting child safe institutions
- improving information sharing, recordkeeping and data collection
- developing a National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, including strategies to address the complex issue of children with harmful sexual behaviours
- reporting publicly on progress each year.
You can find updates on the national priorities in the Australian Government’s annual progress reports.
As well as the national priorities, all Australian governments have been working together on a range of other recommendations that require joint action. These cover areas including:
- online safety
- Working with Children Checks
- support for victims and survivors.
A number of ministerial councils and other Australian, state and territory government working groups are making progress in these areas. These include:
- Children and Families Secretaries group
- Education Ministers' Meeting
- Australian Transnational, Serious and Organised Crime Committee
- Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision
- Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities Working Group
- Child Abuse Royal Commission Interjurisdictional Working Group
- Working with Children Checks Interjurisdictional Working Group
- Interjurisdictional Working Group for Children with Harmful Sexual Behaviours.
National Standards for Working with Children Checks
On 12 November 2019, the National Standards for Working with Children Checks (the National Standards) received final endorsement from all states and territories.
The National Standards, which deliver 28 Royal Commission recommendations, were developed by the Australian Government and the state and territory governments between 2017 and 2019 to establish nationally consistent parameters for screening people who want to take part in child-related work. Importantly, the National Standards will help make sure that children have an appropriate level of protection wherever they are in Australia.
The National Standards for Working with Children Checks (National Standards) were developed by the Working with Children Checks Interjurisdictional Working Group – formed in 2017 and chaired by the Australian Government – to review and respond to the recommendations of the Royal Commission's Working with Children Checks Report. Through the Working Group, the Australian Government and the states and territories have collaborated to develop the National Standards with reference to the Royal Commission's recommendations, existing best practice and the expertise of all governments. This Working Group was suspended on 1 February 2022. Broader efforts to consider working with children checks reforms have been progressed through the Information Sharing Working Group, led by the Attorney-General’s Department and formed under the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030.
Read the former Minister for Home Affairs' media release to find out more.
Information about other work the Australian, state and territory governments are progressing together can be found in the Australian Government’s annual progress reports.
State and territory responses
States and territory responses to the Royal Commission's Final Report can be found below: