Sexual abuse commission 'not a prosecuting body'

THE Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in Australian institutions will not determine any compensation for victims of abuse, Justice Peter McClellan said on Wednesday.

Lead commissioner Justice McClellan addressed the media after the first meeting of all six commissioners on Wednesday.

He said the task before the commission was large, but the commission would not know the full extent of the task until it began official work.

"Our task is complex and will take considerable time," he said.

He said the commission would be based in Sydney, but each commissioner would be travelling widely throughout the country in gathering information and talking to witnesses and victims.

However, Justice McClellan said the commission was not a prosecuting body, and would not be determining any compensation for the victims of child sexual abuse within Australia's institutions.