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Liberals Must Listen to Survivors and Church Leaders and Commit to National Redress Scheme

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 13 April 2018

Tags: Royal Commission, National Redress Scheme, Child Abuse, Justice, Catholic Church

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

While the Hodgman Liberals continue to drag their heels, Tasmania church leaders have joined forces to call for the State to join the National Child Abuse Redress Scheme.

A key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the National Redress Scheme is set to commence on 1 July 2019.  Tasmania has yet to commit.

Head of the Catholic Church in Tasmania, Archbishop Julian Porteous, has joined the voices of survivors of abuse imploring the Liberals to commit the State to the National Redress Scheme. Their continued delays are a slap in the face to the estimated 1,750 Tasmanian survivors who would be eligible to seek redress.

The recommendations of the Royal Commission were clear, the National Redress Scheme needs the States to buy in. Survivors have suffered long enough, and Tasmania must join the Commonwealth and institutions to ensure they have a measure of justice served.

For too many years, survivors of child abuse have suffered in silence, and the many victims have not been able to seek the acknowledgement, justice and compensation they deserve.

The Liberals have previously clung to the State’s prior compensation scheme for victims of child abuse in State care. The National Redress Scheme is a separate issue.  It seeks to help to heal and compensate Tasmanian victims of child abuse in institutional settings such as church and charitable organisations, not State care.

The Liberals have also failed to enact their own law that removes the time limits on victims seeking compensation through the court system. The Liberals claim to stand by those who have suffered abuse, but they are stalling on real justice for Tasmanian survivors.

It is past time the Liberals listened to victims, and now church leaders like Archbishop Porteous, and committed Tasmania to the National Redress Scheme and removal of time limits on compensation claims. They can’t stall, or ignore their obligation, any longer.