Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse who are older or terminally ill will be able to access advance payments of $10,000 under proposed changes to the National Redress Scheme.
Minister for Families and Social Services and Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston announced the plan as part of the Morrison Government’s initial response to the Final Report, Second Year Review of the National Redress Scheme (the Final Report) prepared by Independent Reviewer Ms Robyn Kruk AO.
“I would like to thank Ms Kruk for her work on the Final Report which outlines how the Scheme can be improved and deliver a better experience for survivors,” Minister Ruston said.
“As a matter of urgency the Ministers’ Redress Scheme Governance Board have supported progressing the introduction of advance payments of $10,000 to survivors who are aged over 70, or over 55 for Indigenous survivors, or who are terminally ill.”
The Morrison Government is taking immediate action on 25 of the 38 recommendations with more than $80 million over four years put aside in the Budget to progress these matters. Further consideration and consultation will take place of the remaining recommendations, most of which would require support for states and territories to progress.
“The Government is committed to ensuring the Scheme is survivor focused and progressing immediate action in response to the Review,” Minister Ruston said.
“Increasing access to redress is also important which is why we are supporting the expansion of Funder of Last Resort provisions to cover defunct institutions where there is no government responsibility for abuse and to existing institutions that do not have the financial capacity to join.
“We have committed $22.8 million over four years for the Commonwealth’s portion of expanded Funder of Last Resort costs and are asking states and territories to match our commitment.
“We are also beginning work on a new application form which will be simplified and bolster outreach support to assist applicants throughout the process.”
This announcement is part of the Government’s interim response to the Final Report.
The Commonwealth will prepare a full response to the Final Report in early 2022.
“We will work with states and territories, survivors and other stakeholders to progress further action as a matter of priority,” Minister Ruston said.
“Any changes to the Scheme’s legislation require approval of state and territory Redress Ministers through the Ministers’ Redress Scheme Governance Board.”
The Final Report Second Year Review of the National Redress Scheme and the Interim Australian Government response can be found via www.nationalredress.gov.au