Thursday, 15 September 2016
National Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Sexual Abuse
At the request of Senators Moore and Brown, I move General Business Notice of Motion No. 57:
That the Senate—
(a) recognises the immense suffering of survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, and that survivors may be affected by the abuse for their whole lives;
(c) calls on the Federal Government to establish a National Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Sexual Abuse, following recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which include:
(i) the creation of a single national redress scheme, coordinated by the Federal Government, and not outsourcing responsibility to the states, and
(ii) the provision of counselling and financial redress with costs met by the institutions responsible for the perpetrators of the abuse;
(d) notes that:
(i) the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended the Government announce a national redress scheme by the end of 2015 and proceed without delay, and
(ii) the Government did not meet this recommended deadline and any further delay puts at risk the recommended start date of 1 July 2017; and
(e) recommends that the Federal Government consult extensively on further details of a national redress scheme to ensure that it fully meets the ongoing and complex needs of survivors and their families.
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 within the time frame acceptable to survivors and, 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.