With the horrific extent of child sexual abuse ever clearer thanks to the current hearings of the Royal Commission, Prime Minister Turnbull must wait no longer to unequivocally commit to a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.
Survivors have been waiting their whole lives for recognition of the crimes perpetrated against them as children and for the ongoing suffering those crimes cause them.
They have waited long enough.
The announcements by the government to date have been grossly inadequate and have failed to give survivors any certainty that they will get the redress they deserve.
Last year, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its final report into Redress and Civil Litigation. It contained detailed recommendations on the establishment of the national scheme, administered by the Commonwealth.
In October last year Labor announced that a Shorten Government would invest $33 million to implement a National Redress Scheme. This includes an initial $20 million contribution to establish the National Redress Agency, as well as a National Redress Advisory Council to work with all governments and institutions on the development and operation of the scheme.
Yet the Liberals still cannot say how exactly they intend to develop a national approach to redress, or give any indication as to when it will start.
That is just not good enough.
All they have said is that they are going to talk to the states.
It is clear from their announcement to date that this government would rather palm off responsibility to the states than deliver a national scheme as envisaged by the Royal Commission.
Malcolm Turnbull is the patron of the Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN).
He knows what survivors have been through. He must stop dragging his feet and commit to a national scheme immediately.
For more information on Labor’s plan for a National Redress Scheme, visit www.alp.org.au/nationalredressscheme
TUESDAY, 1 MARCH 2016