Australian abuse inquiry planned
Speaking in Canberra today, Ms Gillard said there was no time period specified for the inquiry, which is expected to examine religious orders, NGOs, the providers of state-care and government agencies.
"This is an incredibly complex and sensitive area," she said.
Ms Gillard said she spoke before the announcement to the premiers of Victoria and New South Wales states and also to Catholic Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney.
He authored a statement dated yesterday on the church's website titled "Our Church Is No Shelter for Abusers of Any Kind."
The prime minister said the inquiry is not targeted at any one church.