The Marshall Liberal Government will today introduce the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018 into State Parliament.
The passage of the Bill will enable the full implementation of the National Redress Scheme in South Australia, and contribute to the consistent operation of that Scheme around the country.
The Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended the establishment of a national redress scheme.
In the course of its inquiry, the Commission found that for many survivors existing civil litigation systems and past and current redress processes have not provided justice.
“The Marshall Government believes that joining the National Redress Scheme is the best means of providing a measure of justice for victims of institutional child sexual abuse in South Australia,” said Attorney General Vickie Chapman.
“The Royal Commission revealed appalling cases of institutional abuse of children that requires both a compassionate response and sweeping reform of how we protect our society’s most vulnerable members from this appalling abuse.
“The stories presented to the Commission opened our eyes to the prevalence of institutional child sexual abuse, the failure of institutions to respond and the lifelong impact it brings to bear.
“The findings and recommendations of the Commission are powerful and far-reaching
“The scheme will be centrally administered by the Federal Department of Social Services and will provide victims with a payment of up to $150,000 along with counselling and psychological care.
“The crimes committed against innocent children cannot be undone but it’s critical that the legacy of child sexual abuse is addressed with a comprehensive suite of policies.
“The Marshall Government has also introduced new laws into State Parliament to remove time limits for victims of child sexual abuse to seek compensation for civil claims. This will remove the injustice that prevented victims of child sexual abuse seeking compensation after the age of 21.
“In addition, changes to mandatory notification laws, that are due to come into effect in October, will require priests and ministers of religion to disclose information gained in the course of confession as part of their mandatory reporting requirements.
“South Australia is very close to finalising the regulations for working with children checks that will significantly enhance our ability to suitably screen and monitor people who work with children.”
The State Government will assume funder of last resort responsibilities where the institutions held responsible have closed or are unable to fund the compensation payments.