FIRST STATES JOIN NATIONAL REDRESS SCHEME FOR CHILD ABUSE SURVIVORS
WHAT IS THE SCHEME?
It provides redress for people who were sexually abused as children while in the care of institutions.
Beginning on July 1, it will provide compensation up to $150,000, access to psychological counselling and a direct personal response from the institution where the abuse occurred, if requested.
WHICH STATES HAVE JOINED?
NSW and Victoria are the first states to opt in.
The Commonwealth does not have the legal power to compel the states or institutions to participate, but it can make the ACT and Northern Territory join.
HOW MANY SURVIVORS ARE COVERED?
An estimated 60,000 institutional child sexual abuse survivors - if all states, territories and institutions join the scheme.
The total cost is estimated at $3.8 billion over 10 years.
So far the scheme covers:
- 1000 people abused in Commonwealth institutions
- 9000 abused in NSW government institutions
- 5000 abused in Victorian government institutions.
NSW and Victoria signing on makes it possible for churches, charities and non-government institutions in those states to opt in, covering:
- 11,000 people in NSW
- 10,000 in Victoria.
WHAT DO THE OTHER STATES SAY?
* South Australia - Has agreed in-principle to join. Notes there are still issues to be resolved. Previously opposed national system as has own redress scheme.
* Western Australia - Can't sign up until gets critical information. Previously operated two state-based redress schemes.
* Queensland - Can't sign up until range of outstanding critical issues resolved. Previously operated a state redress scheme.
* Tasmania - No formal decision. Previously operated a state redress scheme.
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REDRESS?
Sex offenders and anyone jailed for five years or more for serious crimes.
There will be some discretion on a case-by-case basis.
The scheme operator would also be able to block survivors convicted of lesser crimes "in exceptional cases".
WHAT ABOUT THE COMPENSATION AMOUNT?
The $150,000 cap will not change, despite the child abuse royal commission recommending a $200,000 maximum.
The average is expected to be $76,000, above the commission's $65,000 estimate.
A Senate inquiry heard many survivors believe they will get the maximum $150,000, but an expert said very few will get that amount.
The federal government says the criminal exclusion and $150,000 cap are necessary to ensure maximum participation in the scheme.