HEARING ORDEALS: Royal Commissioners Andrew Murray, Justice Jennifer Coate and Helen Milroy hear from witnesses in Rockhampton.
HEARING ORDEALS: Royal Commissioners Andrew Murray, Justice Jennifer Coate and Helen Milroy hear from witnesses in Rockhampton. Contributed

569 Royal Commission referrals made so far

THE 569 Royal Commission referrals to the police could rise if the panel finds that evidence presented in the Neerkol Orphanage hearing is substantial enough for action.

That's what a Royal Commission spokesman, and legal expert Neil Foster (from Adelaide University), said in the wake of the public hearing in Rockhampton this week.

Mr Foster said in previous hearings, which have been held in various locations across Australia since 2013, the commission had made hundreds of referrals to the police for further investigation.

However, Sydney-based solicitor Aaron Kernaghan, who represented witness Margaret Campbell, said it was unlikely any of the alleged sexual abuse perpetrators, mentioned in the Neerkol Orphanage hearing, would be referred to the police because most of them were deceased.

The only one who could be criminally charged, based on new evidence before the Royal Commission, was Rockhampton man Kevin Baker.

But that was a decision only the Queensland director of the Department of Public Prosecutions could make if Mr Kernaghan's formal representations were accepted.

Some witnesses also had the right to take civil action.



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