Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Deserve Better From Morrison Government

23 June 2021

The Morrison Government should stop dragging its feet and urgently and comprehensively address major challenges with the National Redress Scheme.

LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINSTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
 
MARK DREYFUS MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
 
SHARON CLAYDON MP
DEPUTY CHAIR OF JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL REDRESS SCHEME
 
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS DESERVE BETTER
FROM MORRISON GOVERNMENT

The Morrison Government should stop dragging its feet and urgently and comprehensively address major challenges with the National Redress Scheme.
 
After sitting on a two-year review of the scheme for months, the Government’s response has been nothing but lacklustre.
 
The Government was required by legislation to complete a review of the scheme, two years after its commencement. The review was supposed to be finalised by the end of February.
 
On Monday – on the eve of the third anniversary of the scheme – Labor called on the Government to release its review, through the budget’s consideration in detail process.
 
Survivors have been calling on the Government to release the review for months, but they’ve been highlighting major flaws with the scheme for years:

  • Survivors missing out on redress; 
  • An ongoing lack of survivor trauma focus and ongoing counselling and support; and
  • survivors seeing their payments chipped away by a low cap, indexation of prior payments as well as an arbitrary assessment framework.

Labor moved a comprehensive suite of amendments to address these issues but the Government voted them down.
 
The Morrison Government hid behind its second anniversary review. It sat on it for months.
 
And after making survivors wait, the Government has failed to support a number of the review’s recommendations, including:

  • Reviewing the current restriction on survivors making a single application (Recommendation 3.1)
  • Allowing more survivors access to Redress (Recommendation 3.2)
  • Making ‘reasonable likelihood’ the required standard of proof (Recommendation 3.4)
  • Fixing the broken matrix and properly recognising the impact of abuse (Recommendation 3.11)
  • Guaranteeing that there won’t be additional secret criteria that make it harder for people to access redress (Recommendation 3.12)
  • Making the guidelines used to assess Redress application public (Recommendation 3.13)
  • A minimum Redress payment of $10,000 (Recommendation 4.3)
  • Stopping the indexation of prior payments (Recommendation 4.5)
  • Permitting additional information to be provided by survivors as part of an internal review (Recommendation 5.1)
  • Increasing the staff cap so that Redress applications can be properly assessed and handled (Recommendation 6.7)

And the Morrison Government has refused to increase the cap on redress payments in line with the recommendations of the royal commission.
 
Labor is calling on the Government to implement all the recommendations of the Second year review of the National Redress Scheme, and to lift the maximum redress payment to $200,000.
 
WEDNESDAY, 23 JUNE 2021