Govt rejects national redress scheme for sex abuse victims

Justice McClellan

The Chairman of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has expressed disappointment that the Commonwealth government has refused to support a national redress scheme for victims, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Justice Peter McClellan made his comments yesterday after the Federal government stated that such a scheme is too complex, time consuming, and costly.

A national scheme has been supported by the Catholic and Anglican churches, and yesterday the Uniting Church Queensland CEO said the church supported the structure proposed by the Commission for a national scheme, reports AAP.

The SMH reports that the Government statements were made in a blunt, two-page submission to the Commission, which is trying to develop a redress scheme for those who have suffered abuse.

Yesterday Justice McClellan expressed disappointment that, while the Commonwealth government had accepted the need for "effective redress" when it set up the Commission, it now did not support what evidence showed was the most effective scheme.

Under the scheme proposed by the Commission this year, the Commonwealth would have responsibility as a co-ordinator, and also as a "funder of last resort" - to provide financial support for victims when the institutions responsible were insolvent.

"It seems clear from the Commonwealth's submission that it does not support a single national redress scheme," Justice McClellan told a hearing, to discuss providing redress to victims, that was held in central Sydney on Wednesday.

"The Commissioners are disappointed that ... the structural approach, that is overwhelmingly supported by survivor advocacy and support groups and many institutions as being the most likely to ensure a just, fair and consistent outcome for all victims where they may have suffered abuse, is not presently supported by the Commonwealth."

In its submission, prepared by the Australian Government-Solicitor, the Commonwealth said a national scheme would be too complex and require too much time and resources to establish.

FULL COVERAGE

Blow to plan for national redress scheme for child sex abuse victims (SMH)

Victims condemn Federal Government opposition to national support scheme, referral of responsibility to institutions (ABC)

Abuse victims demand national redress (AAP/Yahoo7)

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