Monday, 15 February 2021
National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment (Technical Amendments) Bill 2020; In Committee
Senator Patrick, you weren't in the chamber when I gave a bit of a time line to Senator Pratt a minute ago. This is the process that will occur. The report will be provided to the government sometime in the next few weeks—hopefully, by the end of this month. The report will then be provided to the other members of the redress board—the ministers in the states and territories who have responsibility for redress in their particular jurisdiction. Then we will seek to meet straight afterwards. We're meeting in April, so the state and territory ministers will have a month to consider the recommendations in the review. We will meet in April. At that meeting we will consider those recommendations and seek for decisions to be made as to whether there is unanimous support to implement those recommendations.
The thing that has failed to be realised in this place is that the federal government does not have the capacity to act unilaterally and make changes. Because of the way the redress act is written and the way the board is established, we require the support of the states and territories. This is a partnership agreement. That's the way it has been set up. Obviously much of the responsibility exists within those state and territory jurisdictions. I can certainly give you a commitment that the Commonwealth seek to move as quickly as we possibly can, but I can't pre-empt, firstly, what the report is going to say, which is what these amendments seek to do, and, secondly, I can't pre-empt what agreement I'll be able to reach around the redress board table. But I can give you an absolute commitment that the review will be provided to the states and territories immediately after the Commonwealth government receives it. I can give you a commitment that I will be meeting with the redress board in April, at which time we will consider those recommendations. I can also give you a commitment that, as soon as the board has agreed to it, I will be releasing the report so that it is available for public review.