Calls to remove abused Aboriginal children from their communities have intensified, with Treasurer Peter Costello and indigenous leaders saying it is time to act. Mr Costello said there were "horrific crimes" being committed against women and children in central Australia. He said any time a child was at risk of being harmed, it needed to be removed from the community. "We have to intervene. It's got very bad and we have to intervene for the sake of the children and the victims," Mr Costello told ABC Radio. The treasurer said people had been slow to act because taking away children was associated with the "stolen generation", which was the subject of a landmark report. "This is where people get very sensitive because it you intervene and take a child out of a community the next thing that will be said is 'stolen generation'," he said.