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SA on board national redress scheme

South Australia’s government has adopted the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018 into state parliament.

user iconGrace Ormsby 31 July 2018 Politics
South Australia, national redress scheme
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The bill’s passage enables the full implementation of the scheme in South Australia, after the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had recommended it.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the Marshall government believes joining the redress scheme is “the best means of providing a measure of justice for victims of institutional child sexual abuse in South Australia.”

“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,” she said.

 
 

The centrally administered scheme from the Federal Department of Social Services will provide victims with up to $150,000 in compensation plus counselling and psychological care.

Alongside the bill, the government has introduced new laws into parliament to remove time limits for child sexual abuse victims to seek compensation through civil claims. Victims of child sexual abuse were previously unable to seek compensation after the age of 21.

Mandatory notification laws will come into effect in October that will require priests and ministers of religion to disclose information gained through confession as part of mandatory reporting requirements.

“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,” Ms Chapman said.

“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.”

This latest news on South Australia follows NSW, Victoria, and Queensland in passing legislation to implement the scheme.

It has not been smooth sailing for the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, with backlash from the ALA about “unfair” eligibility requirements, and condemnation of “disgraceful” and “arbitrary” tables used to categorise victims.