The Royal Commission does not ordinarily comment upon operational matters. However, because of the level of public discussion in relation to immigration detention centres the Commission indicates the following.
The Royal Commission has an ongoing investigation in relation to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s response to allegations of child sexual abuse in detention centres. Whether or not a public hearing is warranted has not been determined.
The Royal Commission is conscious that a Child Protection Panel was established by the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in May 2015. The Panel’s terms of reference indicate that ‘a final report will be provided to the Secretary by mid-2016 covering both better practice and a comprehensive sample of reviews.’ The Royal Commission anticipates that the report will deal with the Department’s response to, among other matters, allegations of child abuse in detention centres. The Royal Commission will have regard to that report in the course of its investigation into immigration detention issues.