Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Child Sexual Abuse
That the Senate—
(a) recognises that:
(ii) the report recommended:
(A) the establishment of a single national redress scheme as preferable to state-based schemes,
(B) the institution in which the abuse occurred should fund redress,
(C) that state, territory and Commonwealth governments should act as funders of last resort, and
(D) that a single national redress scheme, or state-based schemes, should be in place by 1 July 2017;
(b) notes that:
(i) the Coalition has not yet committed to providing funding of last resort, and
(ii) less than a year from the recommended start date, there is no clear plan for national redress scheme; and
(c) calls on the Coalition to commit meaningfully to a national redress scheme, with the Commonwealth Government providing funding of last resort.
The government is committed to ensuring redress is provided for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse by the responsible institutions. Survivors have waited for many years for the justice so wrongly denied them by their abusers. The royal commission expressly acknowledged that its preferred option for delivering that justice, a single national scheme, might not be achievable in the time frame acceptable to survivors or indeed to all Australians who have been outraged by the heinous abuse inflicted on children. Discussions which the Commonwealth has led with states and territories have shown that national consistency can only be achieved sufficiently swiftly through a nationally consistent approach. This aligns with the commission's alternative recommendation. The Commonwealth will therefore continue to work towards agreement on a nationally consistent approach to redress.