November 04, 2016

Federal Labor has concerns about the Turnbull Government’s proposed “opt-in” redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse. 

Under the proposed scheme, states and institutions responsible for perpetrating child sexual abuse can “opt-in” to the scheme. This means if the institutions that perpetrated the abuse do not want to pay, they won’t have to.

Survivors of child sexual abuse have been waiting their whole lives for redress for the crimes perpetrated against them as children. They should not have to worry about whether states or institutions decide to “opt-in” to the redress scheme.

Labor will closely scrutinise the detail of the scheme when it is released and will do all we can to ensure survivors have access to one national scheme as recommended by the Royal Commission.

Even worse – the Government has today admitted that not a single state, territory or institution has agreed. Until these negotiations are finalised, and survivors have certainty that they will get what they deserve, this announcement will be of little comfort.

The Turnbull Government must immediately secure the agreement of the State and Territory Governments and institutions, to make this a national truly national redress scheme.

Labor understands that no amount of money can make up for the pain and trauma experienced by survivors. But we believe that redress can be  an important step along the road to healing for survivors of child sexual abuse.

That is why Labor announced a plan to establish a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in October 2015.

We welcome the decision by the Turnbull Government to fund trauma counselling and other supports.

Labor also welcomes the decision to appoint an advisory committee made up of survivors and their supporters.

Redress can only be achieved if perpetrators of child sexual abuse are required to pay redress to survivors.


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