Wednesday, 1 September 2021
National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment Bill 2021; Second Reading
I thank all members who have contributed to this debate. The National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment Bill 2021 will amend the primary legislation for the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse in response to recommendations from the final report of the second-year review of the National Redress Scheme undertaken by Ms Robyn Kruk AO. The review makes 38 recommendations to increase access to redress and improve the scheme's operations, making it more trauma informed, more efficient and, ultimately, more survivor focused. The Australian government is prioritising initial action on 25 of the 38 review recommendations in full or in part and is investing over $80 million over four years in the 2021-22 budget to support implementation of these recommendations.
This bill makes legislative changes giving effect to a number of these recommendations. Importantly, the measures in the bill make genuine changes that will have a real and direct impact on survivors' experience in accessing redress through the scheme in the short term while further improvements continue to be made. In line with the scheme's governance arrangements, all states and territories have agreed to the amendments in the bill. Work is underway to ensure administrative arrangements are put in place to enable measures to commence as soon as possible, especially for advance payments to be made.
More substantial changes to the scheme arising from the review require further detailed development work in consultation with state and territory governments, survivors, institutions and other stakeholders. The government is continuing to consider and consult on these issues and I commend the bill to the House.