A key network for people brought up in orphanages and other institutions has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to establish as a "matter of urgency" a national redress scheme for abuse survivors.
The new prime minister is a parliamentary patron of Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), which wants the federal government to back the $4.37 billion scheme recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The recommendations were published on September 14.
CLAN executive officer Leonie Sheedy says Mr Turnbull now has the opportunity to deliver fair and equitable compensation for the many thousands of people who were abused in Australia's orphanages, children's homes, foster care and mental institutions.
The scheme recommended by the royal commission would be largely funded by the institutions in which the abuse occurred but needs to be run by an independent board under the auspices of the federal government to ensure equity for all survivors.
The Abbott government signalled in March it would not run such a scheme or underwrite it.
Some states and territories, most of whom have their own schemes, have indicated they would be interested in discussing a national scheme that would mean transferring power to the commonwealth.
Ms Sheedy said she understood the attorneys-general of all jurisdictions - except the Northern Territory - had recently written asking the federal government to make clear its intentions on redress.
She is now hoping that clarification comes sooner rather than later because Mr Turnbull, who has visited CLAN's National Orphanage Museum in Sydney, has "seen the tragic remnants of young lives damaged beyond repair".
Mr Turnbull has told us he believes us and accepts the truth of our history, said Ms Sheedy.
He spoke at the opening of the CLAN office in 2011, and in the 2009 national apology to Forgotten Australians and former child migrants Mr Turnbull expressed his hope the apology would restore dignity and respect, she said.
"Now is the time for the Australian government to establish a national independent redress scheme that restores dignity and respect to the thousands of Australians who were not believed and not protected as children," she said.
Ms Sheedy said time was running out for many care leavers and encouraged Mr Turnbull to establish a national scheme as a "matter of urgency".
© AAP 2015
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