House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Committees

Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme; Appointment

6:20 pm

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

I will not reread what I have already said but go on from where I finished up. In the last parliament, Senator Derryn Hinch was the chair of an important committee looking at the implementation of the scheme. This committee was not dominated by the government or by the opposition. It worked collaboratively across the parliament to make recommendations about how the redress scheme could be improved. This is what Labor sought to re-establish by moving this motion in the Senate.

We're disappointed that the government has amended the motion to give the government the chair and the numbers on the committee. The redress scheme hardly should be put into that political sphere. In the case of the redress scheme, it should not be government members and senators alone who have control of scrutiny. Many survivors of institutional child sexual abuse are rightly very distrustful of institutions, which is why Labor proposed a structure for the committee that would not give the government—or the opposition, for that matter—control. For this reason Labor does not support the changes proposed by the government. However, we will not oppose the establishment of a joint select committee; it is simply too important. Labor will work on the committee to hold the government to account.

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