Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said today’s announcement that New South Wales had joined the National Redress Scheme was welcome news to any survivors of abuse on the Mid North Coast.
Today’s announcement will cover about 9,000 people who were abused in New South Wales Government institutions. It also paves the way for an estimated 11,000 people who were abused in NSW non-government institutions to access the Redress Scheme.
About 1,000 people abused in institutions under the Commonwealth’s responsibility will also be covered.
The Coalition Government launched the National Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Scheme will launch on July 1, 2018 and offer three things – access to psychological counselling, a direct personal response from the responsible institution, and a monetary payment.
Mr Hartsuyker said people on the Mid North Coast who had experienced institutional child sexual abuse in state or Commonwealth government institutions could join the scheme and seek justice.
“For too long, child sexual abuse was covered up or ignored by institutions that were supposed to be looking after our nation’s children,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“The Redress Scheme is based on the strong belief that organisations must take responsibility for abuse that happened on their watch, and pay for the cost of providing redress.”
“It is critical we are ensuring people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse can access support to help them move forward with their lives.”
Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said having NSW and Victoria join the Redress Scheme was a significant step towards delivering a national scheme.
“We want all governments, churches, charities and other non-government organisations to join the Redress Scheme. If that happens, up to 60,000 people will be able to access redress,” Mr Tehan said.
“A single national redress scheme can only be established with full cooperative legislative action of the Commonwealth and states.
“I also urge the relevant non-government institutions in New South Wales and Victoria – such as churches and charities – to join the scheme, so that people abused in their care can also access redress.”
Support services are available to assist people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. People can contact these support services provided as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Those who need immediate assistance should contact:
· Lifeline, on 13 11 14;
· 1800Respect, on 1800 737 732;
· Blue Knot Foundation, on 1300 657 380; or
· MensLine Australia, on 1300 789 978.
The Redress Scheme will begin on 1 July 2018. Information about the application process will be available before the scheme starts.
Information about the scheme is available at www.dss.gov.au/redress.
People who need support now can contact the support services established by the Royal Commission. A list is available on the Royal Commission website.