Royal commission powers have been granted to an inquiry into why parents were never told of a sex abuse case at an Adelaide school, reports the ABC.
The arrest of after-school carer Mark Christopher Harvey for abusing a student was kept secret from parents at the western suburbs school. For the past month, an inquiry in Adelaide has been trying to work out why.
Former judge Bruce Debelle (pictured) asked for expanded powers to let him compel answers from witnesses.
The witness list now includes Premier Jay Weatherill, who has confirmed he will give evidence. As former education minister, Mr Weatherill was asked to face the inquiry and absented himself from the Cabinet decision to grant the extra powers.
SA Attorney-General John Rau confirmed the man in charge of the investigation had been given the powers of a royal commissioner.
"Mr Debelle now has the additional powers he has requested in order to complete the inquiry to his satisfaction," he said.
Former justice Debelle asked for the extra scope last week, pointing out he had fewer powers than an ombudsman. He said public servants were co-operating with the inquiry but he had no ability to compel other members of the public to give evidence.
"I have real concerns that some of them will refuse to co-operate," he said.
FULL COVERAGE School abuse inquiry gets royal commission powers (ABC)
School abuse inquiry to get powers of royal commission (Australian)
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