The Prime Minister will today table draft terms for the royal commission called in the wake of this week’s disturbing youth prison abuse revelations.

The Federal Government has been indicating that the royal commission will focus on the treatment of inmates at NT’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre only, rejecting calls for it to be extended nationwide.

“If you spread it out to be an all-Australia inquiry, it would go on for years and you won't get the answers you need in respect to the Northern Territory,” Mr Turnbull said.

“We want it to be a highly targeted royal commission so it can be done properly, diligently and quite quickly,” Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said.

Newly-elected Northern Territory Labor senator ­Malarndirri McCarthy says the sharp focus is a good start, but the inquiry should then broaden.

“There needs to be action immed­iately with regard to the Northern Territory, to scrutinise what is going on here and making sure it stops immediately, but if it is also happening to other Australian youth elsewhere there must be scope to be able to expand at some appropriate time to other areas,” she told News Corp reporters.

“It’s important to act as soon as possible but that must be done with the people of the NT as well. It’s clear that indigenous organisations, legal organisations and children’s commissioners past and present have raised these very ­issues for a number of years, but they were not listened to.”

Chris Cunneen, Professor of Criminology at UNSW, has written an article for The Conversation saying evidence of abuse in facilities across the country already exists.

Queensland legal advocates have called for the inquiry to be extended to cover Townsville's Cleveland Youth Detention Centre, but Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath says it is sorting itself out

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he was shocked to hear what is happening in Northern Territory juvenile detention, but that the inquiry should not bother looking at WA because “nothing like that” happens in its prisons.

Additionally, calls have come from around the country for the sacking of various higher-ups, who knew about the shocking treatment of kids at Don Dale but did nothing.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said this week that when presented with the evidence of child abuse, it had not “piqued his interest”.

Asked on Wednesday why he did not know about the revelations on Tuesday, Scullion said; “I wish I'd known what I know today, or I knew yesterday afternoon, some time ago, but the facts of the matter were I didn't know”.

This is disputed by the journalist at the centre of the story, Caro Meldrum-Hanna, who says Scullion’s office asked for an advance copy of the story before airing, because he had dinner plans.