National redress scheme for survivors of institutionalised abuse needed now

29 January 2016
Confirmation today that the Federal Government will lead the development of a national approach to redress for survivors of institutionalised abuse is a welcome, but overdue step according to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate Danielle De Paoli said survivors of institutionalised abuse had been waiting too long for acknowledgement and redress for what they had endured, and urged the Federal Government to prioritise finalising a resolution for a national redress scheme as soon as possible.

“The Royal Commission handed down its recommendations for a national redress scheme in September 2015, yet it is only now we are finally starting to see a more comprehensive response from the Federal Government to this,” Ms De Paoli said.

“The fact is that moves to commence further discussions with the states - as has been announced today - is something the Federal Government should have been beginning months ago, when the Royal Commission’s recommendations were released.

“So while we are relieved that process is now finally getting underway in our view it has taken too long – the time for talking is over and it is time to deliver outcomes for those who have been impacted.

Ms De Paoli said it was also critical that recommendations made by the Royal Commission to remove limitation periods for victims of sexual abuse were acted on as a priority.

“In most states, this issue is still yet to be legislated or addressed, despite the recommendations of the Royal Commission last September.

“Removing these time limits to allow people who have been affected to fully exercise their legal rights is absolutely critical and we again call on all governments to also address this issue as a priority,” she said.

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