Australia

Child sexual abuse survivors will receive national apology this year

Related Story: Survivors warn some claimants could be worse off under redress scheme Related Story: 'We are profoundly sorry': Salvos, Scouts, YMCA, Anglican Church sign on to redress scheme

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a national apology to victims of institutional child sexual abuse on October 22 this year.

Key points:

  • The Federal Government will adopt 104 of 122 recommendations from the royal commission, and is still considering 18
  • WA will sign on to the national redress scheme, clearing the way for compensation to begin on July 1
  • The maximum payment from the scheme is $150,000, lower than the commission's recommendation

Mr Turnbull this morning outlined the Federal Government's formal response to the five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

The Prime Minister said 104 of the commission's 122 recommendations relating to the Commonwealth would be adopted, including the establishment of a national office for child safety.

The Government will consider the other 18 recommendations but noted none had been rejected.

Mr Turnbull confirmed Western Australia would also be joining the national redress scheme for victims of abuse, becoming the last of the states and territories to sign on.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has said the state intends to join the national redress scheme in the coming weeks but the decision is yet to go before Cabinet.

Mr Turnbull paid tribute to survivors and their families for their bravery, honesty and strength in coming forward.

"For many of you, the royal commission was the first chance you had to be heard, to be have your pain acknowledged and most importantly to be believed," Mr Turnbull said.

"You were believed and the wrongdoers have been brought to account.

"Your courage has helped expose the scale of institutional child sexual abuse in our country."

A national office for child safety and a national redress scheme to provide payment to victims will both start on July 1.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said so far 93 per cent of victims were estimated to be covered by the scheme.

The maximum payment is $150,000, which is lower than the $200,000 recommended by the royal commission.

But Mr Tehan said the average payment to victims would be higher than the royal commission called for.

He said the federal and state governments had agreed that the average payment would be $76,000 when the commission recommended $60,000.

The Government said there would be a "relatively low threshold" for victims to apply for money under the redress scheme as it was not designed to be fought out in the courts.

The states and religious institutions are due to respond to the commission's report this month.

A committee has been working on the wording of the apology that Mr Turnbull will deliver on October 22, which coincides with National Children's Week.

Original Article

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