A “stain” has been left on the reputation of the Northern Territory government to properly care for children in state care, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said.
As the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT handed down findings after a 16 month of investigation, Mr Gunner today reflected on the “sobering” nature of the report.
"It's sobering this report was borne of the treatment of children in the care of the Northern Territory Government," he said in NT Parliament.
"It is the story of our failures to care, protect, and build those who needed building most.
"It will live as a stain on the Northern Territory reputation. For this I am sorry. But more than this, I'm sorry for the stories that live in the children we failed."
Mr Gunner said the NT Government would now focus on the “most comprehensive overhaul of youth justice and child protection in NT history" amid community calls to close down the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
"Our youth justice and child protection systems are supposed to make our kids better, not break them, they are supposed to teach them to be part of society, not withdraw," he said.
"They are supposed to make communities stronger, not weaker."