Repeat child sex abusers will face a possible life in jail as NSW overhauls paedophile punishment legislation, but the Premier sidestepped introducingstate laws to break the seal of confession.
One of the major recommendations made by the royal commission was that the sanctity of the religious confessional should be pushed aside, requiring religious ministers to report any child sexual abuse revealed to them.
Divisions have emerged, even among Australian Catholic Church leadership, about whether there should be legal intervention in the religious practice.
NSW did not announce any new legislation to obliterate the practice which allowed some church clergy to avoid prosecution for child sexual offences.
Instead, the Premier said the seal of the confessional should be addressed at a national level via the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process.
Changes to the laws would now no longer require victims of child sexual abuse to prove assaults took place at specific times and places — a requirement that had prevented some offenders from being prosecuted.
NSW has joined Victoria as the only states to have opted into the national redress scheme.