February 26, 2018 | Adam Langenberg | The Advertiser
South Australia will opt into the National Redress Scheme for sexual abuse survivors after a deal was struck to recognise the state’s already established compensation scheme, Premier Jay Weatherill says.
SA Best leader Nick Xenophon on Tuesday announced he’d make opting into a scheme a condition of any balance of power agreement, but Mr Weatherill said the demand had “already been met” following a recent Commonwealth of Australian Governments meeting.
Mr Weatherill had previously held out from opting in to a national scheme, arguing SA should not have to “pay twice” because other states had been slow to set up redress schemes.
The federal scheme provides much greater compensation for victims, granting payments of up to $150,000, as well as access to psychological support.
In contrast, the state scheme’s compensation is capped at $50,000 for cases before 2015, and $100,000 for cases after that.
But Mr Weatherill said a commitment that SA’s earlier scheme would be recognised meant the state would opt in.
“There’s obviously a lot of detailed work to be done, we’re working closely with NSW and Victoria that don’t have schemes, they understand that they’ve got to accommodate SA’s interests and we’ll pursue that,” he said.
“But this is a national redress scheme that will happen and SA will assist in its setting up.”
A rally urging for SA to opt into the scheme was held on the Parliament House steps on Tuesday morning.
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