Truth Justice and Healing Council chief Francis Sullivan says the federal and state governments have "failed miserably" in advancing the establishment of a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional abuse. Source: TJHC.
The council has called for a separate Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) committee to urgently consider the issues currently blocking the redress scheme a national redress scheme, after the February 9 COAG meeting failed to deliver progress.
“Despite the Prime Minister’s rhetoric the day before, which gave some indication that the COAG meeting might deliver something, as it turns out redress for child abuse survivors hardly got a look in," Mr Sullivan said.
“The COAG agenda was heavily committed, and I’m sure all the issues for discussion were worthy,” Mr Sullivan said.
“But it was disappointing to see the outcomes from the discussion on a national redress scheme warranted just one paragraph. And beyond this there was no further insight into how the stalemate currently facing the states and the federal government might be resolved.
Mr Sullivan said the a dedicated COAG committee should urgently focus on having the national redress scheme ready to begin on July 1.
“Politicians have been dodging this issue for far too long. They have had the [royal] commission’s redress report for well over two years. All the talk about support for the commission from state and federal leaders means nothing unless survivors see some action,” Mr Sullivan said.
The council’s submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 notes the bills currently under consideration will not deliver a scheme which operates nationally.
As presently understood, the ability of non-government institutions, including Church authorities, to opt in to the scheme is limited as no state government has chosen to participate.