Wednesday, 13 February 2019
National Redress Scheme
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) as of November last year, 2,335 survivors have made applications to the National Redress Scheme, but only 28 have received compensation,
(iii) the primary reason for this delay is due to institutions that are responsible for child sexual abuse not opting into the Scheme or staggering their entry into the Scheme, and
(iv) the National Redress Scheme was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2015, and institutions have had sufficient time to prepare for their entry into the Scheme; and
(b) calls on the Minister for Families and Social Services to:
(i) continue encouraging all institutions within states and territories which are currently signed on to the National Redress Scheme, to opt in,
(ii) seek a timeframe from institutions that have publically stated their intention to join the Scheme as to when they will start fully participating in the Scheme, and
(iii) make this timeframe publically available so that survivors, many of whom are elderly or ill, can have some clarity about when they will receive the redress that is owed to them.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
We had a meeting of the Joint Select Committee on oversight of the implementation of redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and I want to inform the committee that, in recent days, I had planned to resign as chairman of the committee. I do not intend to now. The reason was that in October the Prime Minister promised that his apology would be given practical meaning by 'concrete action' through the National Redress Scheme. Why I said that I would resign is because I don't think the government is taking this redress scheme as seriously as it should. We have trouble getting government members on that committee to appear at hearings to provide a quorum. Senator Gichuhi jumped in at the last minute today for a short time just to keep the committee going. It is not good enough, and I say to government leaders in both houses, please get your act together and come to the committee.
The other thing is that, yesterday, as chairman of this committee, I tried to get the details of how many people have actually been paid from all of this. The only detail I could get was that, six months after it started, 28 out of—(Time expired)
Question agreed to.