The Greens are pleased national redress legislation has passed, meaning survivors of institutional child sexual abuse can finally begin to access redress, but will advocate for further reforms so the scheme can be the best possible scheme.
“The Greens welcome with a heavy heart the passing of the national redress legislation and look forward to seeing the Scheme operating from the nominated date of 1 July 2018.
“We share concerns with survivors that the Scheme is not the best it can be given there are some issues that remain unresolved.
“As indicated by my second reading amendment, I hold concerns about relevant prior payments being indexed under the Scheme.
“The Government has said that they won’t raise the cap because a $200,000 cap would result in an average payment of $65,000, whilst the current $150,000 cap will result in an average payment of $76,000. They could not explain how they came to these figures which is farcical.
“The Government could not answer in the debate detailed operational questions and because there’s no funder of last resort in all circumstances there will be survivors unable to access redress.
“There is uncertainty as to whether or not counselling and psychological services will be available to survivors for the whole of their life and the Government’s answers to my questions during the debate have not reassured me.
“I also have concerns around the scope for eligibility for the scheme, I don’t think certain groups should be excluded from the scheme, like those who have a criminal conviction, are in gaol or are not an Australian Citizen or permanent resident at the time they apply for redress.
“These are just some of the remaining concerns the Greens and others share. Following commencement, we will continue to advocate and work for subsequent reforms to make the Scheme the best it can be”.