June 19, 2018

Today is an historic day for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse with the Senate passing legislation to establish a National Redress Scheme commencing 1 July this year.

It means that around 60,000 survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will finally get the redress they deserve.
This day would not be possible without the extraordinary courage and determination of survivors and their advocates.
There is no excuse for any relevant institution or non-government organisation not to join the national redress scheme.
It has been a long and difficult journey towards justice for many survivors. 
Labor understands that no amount of money can make up for the pain and trauma experienced by survivors.
No amount of compensation can restore a childhood.
However redress is an important acknowledgement of the hurt and harm suffered by survivors and it will mean that institutions finally take responsibility for the sexual abuse that occurred on their watch.
The Gillard Labor Government established the five-year long Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013.
Federal Labor has been campaigning for the establishment of a national redress scheme since 2015.
We are disappointed that the redress scheme will start one year later than was recommended by the Royal Commission interim report and that the cap on redress payments is lower than the recommended total of $200,000.
Labor also raised concerns about the indexation arrangement for previous payments could leave some survivors with nothing.  
We are also concerned that the counselling provided to survivors through the redress scheme will not be adequate.
Labor will sit down with the states and institutions to work on fixing these issues in government.
The passage of this legislation is an overdue step in the right direction, but it cannot be the end of the road.
All governments must keep working together with urgency to deliver justice and make sure children are safe in the future.


Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.

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