Labor on the attack over Scott Morrison’s exit from Tourism Australia – Senate question time live | Australia news

The commission’s report tells a harrowing story of almost complete failure: the failure to protect the innocent; the failure to believe the victims; the failure to challenge the perpetrators; a collective, systemic national failure. No words will ever be able to wind back the clock, heal the scars or erase the evils of the past. No speech will ever truly satisfy those countless thousands who asked for help but were denied. Why were those vile crimes committed against them allowed to occur? Why were the victims not believed? Why was justice and safety so unreachable?

I extend the Senate’s heartfelt sympathy to every victim and survivor, to acknowledge and honour them and to commit resolutely to responding fully to the recommendations produced by the royal commission. Ultimately, all of us in this place have a duty to do all that we can as best we can to right past wrongs and prevent future evils. I also convey, on behalf of the government, our deep gratitude to all those who contributed to the royal commission’s work: to the commissioners and their staff for their tireless efforts; to Prime Minister Morrison and his predecessors, prime ministers Gillard, Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull, for their leadership in steering this important process to this point.

I especially pay tribute to the thousands of Australians who relived the worst chapters of their lives in making submissions and attending private sessions. Their strength and courage has inspired a nation. Without it, the commission’s work, which has exposed the darkest of crimes in the brightest of lights, would not have been possible. The commission’s work, which included the handling of over 42,000 calls, the receipt of nearly 26,000 letters and emails and the holding of over 8,000 private sessions, provides a path forward that is comprehensive, considered and essential on the long road to national healing. We must honour the courage and endurance of those who suffered. We must honour them by faithful implementation of the commission’s findings. As we implement 104 of the commission’s remaining 122 recommendations directed to the commonwealth, with the remaining 18 being carefully examined, I’m confident that we will develop a timely and comprehensive bipartisan response.

… This is an episode in our nation’s history of unfathomable horror, of innocence lost, trust denied, hopes and expectations dashed and the triumph of evil. But thousands of courageous Australians would not be silenced; they would not let evil prevail. They raised their voices. To our collective shame, it took us too long to heed their calls. But they persisted. Despite the pain and the loss, they would not be denied. They roused the nation’s dormant conscience into action. On this day and into the future, let us be worthy of them. To the children who suffered so much for so long and in such silence: we are sorry. To the parents, spouses, partners, husbands, wives and children who have struggled with the cruel after effects of that suffering: we are sorry. To the generations of today and those that came before: we are sorry.