Re­dress scheme

The Chronicle - - NEWS | OPINION -

NO ONE should con­done the sex­ual abuse /harm of a child. How­ever, last Wed­nes­day’s ref­er­ence by Jay Nauss to “child abuse” and the con­cern ex­pressed about the use of tax­pay­ers’ mon­eys to sup­port a cul­prit re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tion is ill con­ceived and lack­ing in an un­der­stand­ing of what has oc­curred.

Makes one won­der as to what is the real mo­ti­va­tion of such a let­ter – is it “fake news”?

Turn­ing to the facts – on Oc­to­ber 26 this year, the Min­is­ter for So­cial Ser­vices, C. Porter, in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion for the es­tab­lish­ment of a Com­mon­wealth Re­dress Scheme. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s 2017-18 bud­get com­mit­ted an ini­tial amount of $33.4 mil­lion to meet the scheme’s es­tab­lish­ment costs and is in­tended to pro­vide sur­vivors with a mon­e­tary pay­ment, psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selling and, if re­quested, a di­rect per­sonal ac­knowl­edge­ment and re­sponse from the re­spon­si­ble in­sti­tu­tion.

The Royal Com­mis­sion into In­sti­tu­tional Re­sponses to Child Sex­ual Abuse had es­ti­mated there were 4000 in­sti­tu­tions across Aus­tralia where child sex­ual abuse hap­pened. About half in­volved schools or homes run by var­i­ous Catholic in­sti­tu­tions; 500 were run by the Angli­can Church; 250 by the Sal­va­tion Army; and the re­main­ing in­sti­tu­tions in­cluded other church groups as well as bod­ies such as the Aus­tralian De­fence Force, Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Mu­sic, foot­ball (soc­cer), cricket, tennis and swim­ming as­so­ci­a­tions.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is us­ing tax­payer mon­eys to cover 1000 vic­tims abused in com­mon­wealth and ter­ri­tory in­sti­tu­tions. As the Min­is­ter for So­cial Ser­vices has pointed out by join­ing the re­dress scheme, all state and ter­ri­tory gov­ern­ments and non-gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions would be pro­vid­ing equal ac­cess for sur­vivors to all three re­dress el­e­ments on a “re­spon­si­ble-en­tity pays” ba­sis, in ac­cor­dance with the Royal Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

In­sti­tu­tions such as the Catholic Church in Aus­tralia have pub­licly ac­knowl­edged their sup­port for all gov­ern­ment and non-gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions to be held ac­count­able and to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for pro­vid­ing re­dress to those peo­ple who were harmed in their care. In other words, an in­sti­tu­tion that opts-in has to fund the cost of their own re­dress claims.

Other church bod­ies such as the Angli­cans, Pres­by­te­ri­ans, Bap­tists, Sal­va­tion Army, Unit­ing Church and ACC-Pen­te­costal all sup­port

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