Anglicans, YMCA to join in redress scheme

Melissa Iaria
Dan Tehan says more institutions will soon join the redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors

The Anglican Church of Australia and YMCA say they will join the $3.8 billion national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors.

The church said it had reached an "in principle agreement" to join, while the YMCA Australia also announced its intention to sign up, a day after the Catholic Church said it would join in the scheme.

"We know that some survivors of abuse have chosen not to engage in our present institutional redress schemes," the Anglican Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier, said in a statement on Thursday.

"We hope that our participation in the independent National Redress Scheme will offer a further step to healing."

The dioceses of Melbourne, Brisbane and Tasmania had already resolved to join and others were expected soon, the church said.

Meanwhile, an independent incorporated entity is being established to provide a single point of engagement to enable Anglican bodies to join as part of a national group.

The YMCA also said on Thursday it was working with all 19 YMCAs across Australia to help ensure it can be part of the scheme, once it is expected to start in July.

"We all share the responsibility for responding to survivors of child abuse, just as we all share the responsibility to make sure every child in Australia is safe and protected," YMCA Australia chief executive officer Melinda Crole said.

"We can't change the past for survivors, but we can change their future. An effective national redress scheme is critical for ensuring justice and healing for survivors."

Legislation to enable the opt-in scheme passed federal parliament's lower house on Tuesday night.

Federal Social Services Minister Dan Tehan expected more institutions to follow after the Catholic Church announced it would join in on Wednesday.

The Catholic Church's move is significant, given it will be the first non-government institution to opt in to the scheme and because it has estimated it will itself be liable for about $1 billion in compensation.

Mr Tehan said the scheme was on track to begin on July 1 if the legislation passed the Senate.

Western Australia is the final state yet to sign up, although state Attorney-General John Quigley believes the negotiations with the federal government could be finalised within six to eight weeks.

The scheme will cover about 60,000 institutional child sexual abuse survivors nationally, with compensation payments capped at $150,000.