Thousands of sexual abuse complaints can be processed under the $4 billion National Redress Scheme after fast-tracking by the Morrison Government will let nearly 80 per cent of applications proceed. Source: The Australian.
Families and Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher has revealed that a wave on institutions signing onto the scheme has meant 40,000 individual sites where abuse could have occurred are now covered by the scheme.
Mr Fletcher said 35 institutions were part of the new system, which has caused an unprecedented bureaucratic challenge for major entities such as the Catholic and Anglican churches.
But the progress for paying out remains relatively slow in large part because of the complexity of the scheme, which provides for maximum payments of $150,000.
The scheme had received 3439 applications for redress by April 5, with 131 payments averaging $81,437 each. The average payment is higher than the average forecast of $75,000, despite the Government opting for a $150,000 maximum payment rather than $200,000.
The Government said there were another 22 offers pending, with people having six months to consider whether to accept their offer.
“I am pleased that institutions are taking heed of the request for them to join the redress scheme as soon as possible,” Mr Fletcher said.
“I continue to emphasise the urgency of giving survivors access to redress as soon as they are able. The Government expects all the institutions where institutional child sexual abuse has occurred to sign up to the National Redress Scheme as soon as possible.’’
The Government has publicly and privately pressured the major institutions to join the scheme, although any reticence often has to do with the complexity of joining and understanding the scope of liability.
In some cases, organisations no longer exist or the sites where the abuse occurred are being used for other purposes.
Sex abuse redress scheme fast-tracked (The Australian)