Statement - Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse

The abuse of children in the care of institutions has been one of the most appalling chapters of Australia’s recent history.

THE HON. BILL SHORTEN

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR JAGAJAGA

 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

The abuse of children in the care of institutions has been one of the most appalling chapters of Australia’s recent history.

The former Labor Government established the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013 to give the thousands of people affected by these evil crimes an opportunity to finally be heard and get justice.

Labor thanks survivors of child sexual abuse for their courage in coming forward to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

We thank the Royal Commissioners and all the staff who have supported survivors to tell their accounts of abuse.

Labor honours the extraordinary advocacy of survivors, their families and representatives without whom there would have been no Royal Commission.

After four years the final public hearing was held this week.

The accounts of abuse have been harrowing, and the scale of the abuse deeply disturbing.

Establishing a national redress scheme is the number one recommendation of the Royal Commission’s interim report. 

Labor continues to call on the Turnbull Government to deliver a national redress scheme for survivors.

However when the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter announced the Government's proposed redress scheme in November 2016 he admitted that not a single state, territory or institution had agreed to join the redress scheme.

Nearly five months later there are no signs of progress.

No state or territory has announced that they have agreed to opt-in to the scheme.

The Turnbull Government must get this right.

Labor understands that no amount of money can take away the pain and trauma experienced by survivors of child sexual abuse.

For years many survivors were not believed. On top of the abuse this denial of the truth led to even greater pain.

A national redress scheme is the next step on the road to healing for survivors. 

Labor set up the Royal Commission, and we are determined to see survivors get the redress they deserve.

We look forward to examining the final recommendations of the Royal Commission when they are released.

As a nation we must redouble our efforts to ensure that every child has the right to a safe and happy childhood.

SATURDAY, 1 APRIL 2017