*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***
Every truth revealed by the Royal Commission into Child Abuse is sickening.
Thousands of crimes.
The number of offenders and institutions involved.
The average age of the victims: 11 years old for boys, 10 year old girls.
And the scale of the deliberate, systematic cover-up.
A shameful betrayal of the children they had in their care, a betrayal of the faith that they claimed to serve.
It is well past time for Cardinal Pell to return to Australia and account to this Commission in person.
I want to pay tribute to Julia Gillard for her leadership in establishing this Royal Commission.
And above all I want to salute the survivors who have testified, remarkable Australians summoning the courage to tell their stories.
Some of them for the first time, others carrying the memory of being deliberately ignored, or flat-out accused of making up their stories.
Confronting and re-living the darkest chapter in their lives. Speaking up on behalf of all those who could not.
And – by their actions – these survivors have rescued a future generation of children from the abuse and suffering they had known.
These extraordinary people deserve more than the Parliament's praise.
They deserve a National Redress Scheme – and that depends on leadership from the Commonwealth Government and the Parliament.
At long last, justice must be done.