Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will set up a royal commission to investigate the treatment of children at a Northern Territory detention centre after harrowing video of youngsters being tear-gassed and assaulted was shown on Four Corners last night.
Babyology told our readers about the Four Corners expose yesterday, only hours before the brutal and damning footage was shown on the ABC current affairs program. NT Corrections minister John Elferink was today sacked as Australians reacted in horror to the scandal.
“Can I start by saying that anybody who saw that footage on television last night on Four Corners would undoubtedly describe it as horrific footage. I sat and watched the footage and recognised horror through my eyes,” NT Chief Minister Adam Giles told reporters today.
Mr Turnbull has announced a royal commission to investigate the brutal treatment of juveniles at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin.
“Like all Australians, I have been deeply shocked, shocked and appalled by the images of mistreatment at the Don Dale Centre,” Mr Turnbull told the ABC.
“We will get to the bottom of what happened here … we want to know why there were inquiries into this centre which did not turn up the evidence and the information that we saw on Four Corners.
“This is a shocking state of affairs and we will move quickly to establish what happened.”
The harrowing footage – which people may find distressing – shows youngsters being tear-gassed and forcibly stripped in their cells, as recently as in 2014. Other security video footage shows children as young as 13 being physically assaulted by guards. Others have hoods placed over their heads during dealings with guards.
As many took to social media to voice their outrage, Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs called for an independent inquiry during her appearance on Q&A immediately following the episode’s airing.
“If one of us were to have been found to have treated our children in this way we would probably be charged with a criminal offence and the children would be taken away from us,” she said.