Church alarmed at goverment rejection of abuse redress scheme

Francis Sullivan

The Church says it is disappointed the Federal government has so quickly rejected a national scheme to compensate abuse survivors, reports AAP on SBS.

In its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Church backed a national, fair, compassionate, and independent scheme which would be run by the Federal government with the participation of State and Territory governments.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council (TJHC), told the Royal Commission yesterday it was surprising that the Commonwealth had initiated the inquiry and "yet has so quickly discounted itself from one of the most fundamental issues we have to redress".

"You would think that any government that was setting up a Royal Commission of this nature would know that a possible redress scheme would be one option," Mr Sullivan said.

The Commission has recommended a single national scheme and done modelling to show it would cost $4.3 billion and cover 65,000 survivors.

In a blunt, written submission to the Commission, the Federal government said such a scheme would be too costly and too complex to implement.

The TJHC represents the leadership of the Church and religious orders in Australia. Mr Sullivan said  the whole church was ashamed of the extent to which abuse happened in its institutions.

Its objective now was to contribute to reform that would give survivors of child sexual abuse easy access to redress based on the same criteria under independently determined conditions.

TJH COUNCIL RELEASE

TJH Council opening statement at Royal Commission Redress hearing

FULL COVERAGE

Abuse scheme rejection alarms Catholics (AAP/SBS)

Catholic Church says rejection of national compensation and support scheme surprising (ABC)

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