Time for action on redress

There are just four sitting weeks left for 2017 – and time is running out for action from this government in establishing a redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

 

HON JENNY MACKLIN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES

MEMBER FOR JAGAJAGA

 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

TIME FOR ACTION ON REDRESS

There are just four sitting weeks left for 2017 – and time is running out for action from this government in establishing a redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

It’s more than two years since the Royal Commission published its final report on the topic of redress, recommending a nationwide scheme be rolled out by the end of 2015.

It took Mr Porter until November 2016 to even respond to that report. He ignored the recommendation of the Royal Commission for a national scheme, and instead chose to proceed with an opt-in model which would have to be hammered out with every state and territory.

 

It is now October 2017, and that “plan” has barely progressed. Mr Porter is expected to introduce legislation into the Parliament next week nearly a full year after proposing the scheme.

 

There still appears to be no secured agreement from the states and territories.

 

Advocates tell us that many victims are yet to realise that the redress scheme has not even passed the first hurdle, let alone that it does not even exist.

 

Those who are aware of the government’s inaction are shocked by it.

 

Let us not mince words – the government’s delay, obfuscation and failure to properly implement a national redress scheme is inflicting untold hurt and trauma on people who have already been through so much.

 

Mr Porter’s apparent lack of interest on this issue is mystifying. As the Minister responsible for implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations, he has a duty of care for those vulnerable people who are affected. He cannot and must not neglect them.

 

If the reason for Mr Porter’s inaction is an unwillingness to spend Commonwealth funds, it is hard to understand how the government can find $122 million for a useless Marriage Equality Postal Survey but there is nothing available for this worthy cause.

 

For too long survivors of institutional child sexual abuse weren’t believed. For too long they’ve waited for justice. Now the Turnbull Government is making them wait even longer for redress.  it’s simply not good enough.

 

Mr Porter must introduce legislation for a proper, comprehensive national redress scheme without delay.

 

TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2017