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Submissions to abuse inquiry call for multiple commissioners

The federal government says there has been an overwhelming response to its call for feedback about the arrangements for the royal commission on child abuse.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Families Minister Jenny Macklin said on Wednesday that more than 720 individuals and organisations had been in contact about the terms of reference.

The government released a consultation paper on the term of references a week ago, calling for feedback by close of business on Monday this week, as it pushes to get the royal commission up and running by early next year.

There have been 165 formal written submissions and 555 comments by email.

Ms Roxon and Ms Macklin said that so far submissions had highlighted the need to appoint multiple commissioners and the need for interim reporting, every one to two years.

In its submission, the Australian Lawyers Alliance suggested there should be between six and 10 commissioners.

Victims support group Broken Rites is calling for about three royal commissioners, with one appointed as a ''truth commissioner'', who could travel ''to listen to the truth of victims' experiences''.

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