Australian abuse commission chief executive resigns

The chief executive of Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has resigned.

Jannette Dines, who had been in the role since 2012, will depart on June 6, reported the ABC.

The circumstances surrounding her departure remain unclear.

But the ABC understands Ms Dines will be returning to a previous role.

She used to be the director-general of Emergency Management Australia.

The royal commission began hearing evidence from victims of child sexual abuse early last year.

It has heard from more than 1500 witnesses, with more than 150 cases of abuse being referred to police for investigation.

The royal commission is led by Justice Peter McClellan.

Justice McClellan said Ms Dines “has successfully created the structure and facilities that have enabled the royal commission to achieve a large amount in a short time”.

In April, Justice McClellan said that more than 40 people a week were approaching the commission to give evidence and that the commission did not have the resources to listen to all of them.

Dr Cathy Kezelman from Adults Surviving Child Abuse said it would be nice if the Australian attorney-general could give an assurance that the royal commission’s work would be able to continue.

But Francis Sullivan from the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council says the commission is as strong as ever.

“I’ve very confident the royal commission has a future for as long as it needs it,” he said.

News of Ms Dines’s resignation came as the federal opposition was putting pressure on the Australian government for allegedly diverting funds from the royal commission into another inquiry.

The ABC reported accusations that millions of dollars was diverting into a royal commission investigating deaths in a home insulation scheme set up by the previous Labor government.

The current government rejected the accusations.

Calls were made for the Australian government to show that it fully supports the sex abuse royal commission.

A spokesman for Attorney General George Brandis said: “The royal commission will have sufficient funding to complete its inquiry.”

He added: “No allocation of funds has been made which would have the effect of limiting resources available to the royal commission into child sex abuse.”


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