News

Deacon, former Qld Minister Pat Comben removed

Pat Comben.
Pat Comben.

THE Anglican Deacon involved in the Diocese of Grafton's initial response to child abuse allegations at the North Coast Children's Home has been removed from holy orders.

Patrick Comben was the former registrar of the Diocese of Grafton and also stood on the Clarence Valley Council between 2008-12.

Mr Comben, 65, also served as an education and health minister in the Queensland Goss administration before he was ordained and relocated to NSW.

His removal from holy orders followed a hearing by an independent professional standards board led by Sydney barrister Kevin Rolfe QC.

The board's recommendation was made to current Grafton bishop, Rev Dr Sarah Macneil, who adopted it and informed Mr Comben of his removal from the church. Under church law there is no avenue of appeal.

Former child abuse survivor Richard "Tommy" Campion was present at the hearing and said he felt vindicated by the church's decision.

Mr Campion said Mr Comben, while he was registrar at the Diocese, had admitted to allegations of "failing to respond to numerous claims of child abuse" which had occurred at the children's home between 1940 and 1985.

Mr Campion said Mr Comben had asked the barrister if it was possible for him to resign his Holy Orders "without being pushed" after admitting to the allegations.

He said Mr Comben had been "in a position of trust" when abuse claims started to belatedly crop up in the early 2000s.

He said the allegations should have been dealt with "quickly, passionately, and with absolute care for every child who was abused in that hellhole".

"It was a place that shed a lot of blood and a lot of heartache," he said.

"These people should have paid attention to that. If they had have done that and cared straight away and listened to the victims of abuse they wouldn't have had to go through this.

"They wanted to save their money, they wanted to save the good name of the Church."

A report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found the Diocese of Grafton had denied responsibility for sexual abuse, denied compensation to victims, failed to comply with its own policies and dealt with victims insensitively.

Topics:  abuse editors picks



VIDEO: Grafton really is home to best pub grub in NSW

The $10 Monday special ribs at the Village Green Hotel, winner of the 2016 NSW AHA Best Cheap Meal Under $15.

A taste test of Village Green's award-winning $10 ribs special

Lightning death: Teens praised for trying to save man's life

Tweed Byron Local Area Commander Superintendent Wayne Starling fronts the media over the fatal lightning strike at Mt Warning earlier this morning.

Rescue operation underway after two people struck by lightning

Second great white shark detected at Yamba

SPOTTED: Great white shark.

White pointer detected off Main Beach just minutes ago

Local Partners

VIDEO: Christmas lights galore in the Clarence Valley

WE KNOW the Clarence Valley has the best Christmas lights. So we're compiling a map of the best displays and we need your help.


Workshop to tackle Clarence Valley's suicide rate

A workshop to tackle the mental health issues around the Clarence Valley's tragic suicide figures will be held next Monday in the GDSC.

Health authorities seek community help to tackle suicide rate.

How people power stopped the gas mines

Iluka resident and character in the film, Ian Gaillard, addresses the crowd of anti-CSG protesters at Bentley.

Award-winning documentary to be screened in the Clarence Valley

Bored? Here's 9 things to do this weekend

The Clarence Valley Mental Health Fishing Group are holding a Christmas fishing event at Memorial Park.

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!