The Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania has spoken out in support of making it mandatory for ministers of religion to report child abuse.
A Bill currently before Victoria’s parliament will require minsters to tell authorities if they have a reasonable belief that child sex abuse has occurred.
“The Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is committed to providing safe environments where children can grow and thrive, and where we do all in our power to safeguard children from abuse,” Moderator Denise Liersch said.
“The Church welcomes the Victorian Government’s recent moves to expand mandatory reporting of child abuse to include people in religious ministry.
“This is in line with the Church’s current policy and practice, requiring that any person who is aware of or suspects child abuse is to report it.
“The creation and maintenance of a child-safe culture is essential and we are committed to providing safe environments where children are cared for, respected, nurtured and sustained.”
At present teachers, police, medical practitioners, school counsellors, early childhood and youth justice workers are required to report child abuse under Victoria’s laws.