Prime Minister Scott Morrison has threatened the charity status and government funding of organisations that refuse to sign up to the child sexual abuse redress scheme by tomorrow’s deadline. Source: The Age.
By Fergus Hunter, The Age
In a letter to 25 organisations named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse but yet to join the scheme, Mr Morrison and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the institutions’ resistance was “reprehensible” and warned of heavy consequences.
The religious, community and sporting organisations – which include the Jevhovah’s Witnesses and some Catholic groups – have been told they have until June 30 to provide a clear statement of intent to join the scheme by the end of the year.
Mr Morrison and Senator Ruston said those that refused to commit would be “publicly identified and the government is considering other actions including the appropriateness of future funding and tax status”.
Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse could miss out on compensation if organisations fail to sign up. There are 103 applications from survivors on hold because of the institutions that have refused to sign up.
The 222 non-government institutions that have joined the scheme include the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, Uniting Church, Salvation Army, YMCA, Scouts Australia, Hillsong and Legacy Australia.
As of June 12, the scheme had received 7133 applications, with over $200 million distributed in 2501 payments. Another 623 redress offers are awaiting decisions from applicants.