26 September 2023

Budget funds to out-pay sex abuse

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Four-year funding for the first phase of a new National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse has been announced in this week’s Budget.

The Strategy will be a 10-year, whole-of-nation framework to establish a coordinated and consistent approach to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in Australia.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, said these initial measures would lay the foundations for the landmark Strategy, which would be released in full in September.

He said the Strategy would complement and align with other national policy frameworks, such as the current and future National Plans to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, and Closing the Gap.

The Strategy includes funding for extra initiatives to be delivered by the Australian Federal Police to combat child sexual abuse, including new front-line operational activities to keep children safe, he said.

It will bolster the capabilities of relevant Agencies to disrupt the cash flow behind child sexual abuse; prevent and disrupt livestreamed child sexual abuse; intercept material and offenders at the border, and enhance the ability to identify offenders within the community.

Mr Morton said the Department of Home Affairs would also work with its Indo-Pacific partners on regional policy and legislative responses to child sexual abuse.

Mr Morton said further announcements would be made with the full National Strategy, including additional measures to be jointly delivered by the Commonwealth and its State and Territory partners.

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