Monday, 15 February 2021
National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment (Technical Amendments) Bill 2020; In Committee
Given the process you've outlined, Minister, that we're waiting for the recommendations that come out of the review—you said that's due in a couple of weeks, I believe. You say, 'Yes, it's coming soon, so why are you pursuing these amendments now?', and yet then you go on to say, 'Well, any changes still have to go to the redress board in order to make any changes to this act.' Minister, I want to ask you: given the issues with the matrix, given the indexing of payments, given the problem of the number of redress payments tracking below what was expected, given the delays caused by institutions not joining the scheme, given the issues around strengthening funders of last resort to ensure that everyone has access—but, in particular, the issue of things like indexing and the matrix—what is your advice to survivors today? If they are concerned about the current management of the Redress Scheme and the current provisions of the act, should they wait to put their applications in? Will they be judged according to the old matrix or the new one? Will they be invited to resubmit their applications? Noting that this review is coming, you must have some idea of the kinds of issues that you are going to need to take to this board, rather than just saying, 'Wait and see.' You have to be able to actively manage, right here and now, the expectations of survivors; otherwise they might be thinking, 'Well, I'm going to have to wait two more years to put my application for redress in.' Yet they may well find that nothing changes. What is your advice to survivors today, Minister?