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Source: Australian Ministers for Social Services

The Morrison Government is maximising access to redress for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse by ensuring all named institutions are obliged to join throughout the life of the National Redress Scheme.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Government was taking important steps to ensure no survivor was left behind.

“The Morrison Government has committed a further $73.1 million to be invested in the Scheme over the next four years to continue to support survivors through Redress Support Services,” Minister Ruston said.

“We are also working hard to make sure that every institution with a history of working with young people joins the Scheme no matter when a survivor comes forward to access redress through the Scheme.”

Under the current rules governing the Scheme no institution can join the Scheme after 31 December 2020. This means that any institutions yet to be named by survivors would be unable to join the Scheme and potentially cause survivors to miss out on redress.

“Survivors can apply for redress at any time until 1 July 2027 so it is vital the Scheme can require previously unnamed institutions to join to ensure all applications can be progressed regardless of the date a survivor comes forward,” Minister Ruston said.

“From 1 January 2021 when the Scheme receives an application that names an institution which had not been previously named, that institution will have a period of six months from their first engagement to join the Scheme.

“Failure to join the Scheme within six months will mean that institution will be publicly named and have financial sanctions applied and loss of charitable status until they join the Scheme.

“This is absolutely not about letting institutions off the hook. What this change does is put the onus squarely on institutions to fulfil their moral obligation to survivors to own up to the wrongs of the past.”

Minister Ruston reminded the institutions which have been named in an application or by the Royal Commission and have provided an intent to join that they must complete the process to join the Scheme no later than 31 December 2020.

“Institutions which gave a commitment that they would on board by 31 December 2020 are reminded that failure to meet the deadline means they will be publicly named on 4 January 2021 become ineligible for Commonwealth grant funding and stripped of their charitable status.”

Redress Support Services are available in every state and territory and can provide free, confidential practical and emotional support to people before, during and after applying to the Scheme. Free legal and financial support is also available.

Further information about the National Redress Scheme is available on the website: www.nationalredress.gov.au

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