“Getting the National Redress Scheme right: An overdue step towards justice”. Changes to the National Redress Scheme?

“Getting the National Redress Scheme right: An overdue step towards justice”. Changes to the National Redress Scheme?

On 2 April 2019, in the midst of the media frenzy with the Federal Budget, the Joint Parliamentary Committee overseeing the implementation of the National Redress Scheme tabled its long-awaited report named above.

The Committee, chaired by Senator Derryn Hinch, made 29 recommendations. We summarise just some of these—especially on issues that CLAN has been advocating for many months. (Numbers refer to the number of the Hinch report.)

  1. Changes should 'do no further harm' to the survivor, and better consultation with key survivor groups.
  2. Pressure on all relevant institutions to join the redress scheme NOW.
  3. Penalise institutions that fail to join the Scheme, including the suspension of tax concessions and charitable status.
  4. A rethink about indexing prior payments.
  5. Parliament should consider an inquiry into the adequacy of state and territory responses for survivors of institutional child non-sexual abuse, including redress.
  6. Allow all survivors who are currently in gaol or who have been sentenced to imprisonment for five years or longer to be eligible for redress.
  7. A new Assessment Framework as per that recommended by the Royal Commission—the type or severity of abuse should not determine the impact.
  8. If a new Assessment Framework is implemented, applicants who were assessed using the current framework be re-assessed using the new framework, but offers of redress must not be lower than the original offer.
  9. 'Extreme circumstances' in the Assessment Framework be available to all applicants, not only those who experienced penetrative abuse.

14-15-16. Explain how the cap of $150 000 was decided. Increase the maximum redress payment to $200 000. A minimum payment of $10 000.

17-19. Counselling over the course of their life, available on as needed.

  1. Redress support services available to all survivors, regardless of location, cultural or other barriers.
  2. Free financial counselling services.
  3. The redress application form should allow survivors to show why their application should be considered a priority.
  4. People are regularly informed of the progress of their application.
  5. The Redress website should publish the average processing time for applications and other key data about the redress scheme—updated regularly.

26-27. If you ask for a review, you should be allowed to provide additional information in support, up to the point of the redress payment being made. You should not receive a lower redress amount than the original offer.

You can read the full report and see all the recommendations in full on line at:  https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2019/04/apo-nid228291-1348621.pdf

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