On 14 September this year, The Royal Commission handed down their final report on redress and civil litigation in regards to Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Established in January 2013, the Royal Commission was a recommendation to the Governor-General from the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Within the report were 99 recommendations in total and detailed a $4 billion redress scheme for 60,000 people who were sexually abused as children in institutions, entitling them to compensation from $10,000 up to $200,000.
The report indicated a deadline for the end of the year to the Federal Government to announce whether it will establish a national redress scheme.
WHAT LABOR SAID:
The Federal Opposition has been quick to respond, announcing should Labor be elected, they would pledge $33 million to fund the scheme, of which $20 million will be used to establish the National Redress Agency.
“These extraordinary men and women have survived horrific abuse at the hands of institutions that should have been responsible for their care. Labor is committed to ensuring they get the redress they deserve,” Mr Shorten said. He then went on to explain why the Labor party created this particular Royal Commission; so that those affected have an opportunity to speak out about such evil acts.
On ABC’s Radio National breakfast program Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Families and Payments outlined her party’s stance further:
“… Those who have been responsible for this outrageous abuse to children over many many years should be held to account and pay the redress that people so desperately deserve.” She conceded that the Commonwealth should be partially to blame due to being responsible for the territories even back when the abuse occurred.
AND WHAT ABOUT LIBERAL?
State and territory Attorneys-General have written to Attorney-General George Brandis calling for the “earliest possible indication from the Commonwealth as to whether it intends to establish and fund a national redress scheme” for victims. A spokesperson for Attorney-General Brandis said that the Government was considering the Commission’s suggestions, but would discuss the matter further with the states and territories prior to providing any response.
However in the Liberal camp, there has been no announcement yet by Malcolm Turnbull or his colleagues.
Considering how many individuals and organisations were affected by this dark chapter in Australian history, the spotlight is on what the Government’s next move will be.