Landmark legislation paves the way to redress for thousands of Queensland child sex abuse victims

Published Wednesday, 19 September, 2018 at 04:25 PM

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

Child Safety Minister Di Farmer says approximately 10,000 people who suffered sexual abuse as children in institutions are expected to seek redress after the passage of landmark legislation in the Queensland Parliament today.

Minister Farmer, who guided the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018 through Parliament, hailed it as a significant step in acknowledging and supporting those who had been abused in Queensland Government and non-government institutions.

“This legislation paves the way for the commencement of the government’s participation in the National Redress Scheme in our state,” Ms Farmer said.

“In the wake of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Palaszczuk Government moved quickly to get behind the National Redress Scheme.

“The passing of this Bill now means approximately 5000 people who suffered abuse in Queensland Government institutions, and an estimated 5000 who were abused in non-government institutions, will be able to seek redress through the national scheme.

“We announced in April that the Palaszczuk Government would contribute $500 million to support its participation in the National Redress Scheme ahead of the introduction of the legislation.”

Ms Farmer said the Palaszczuk Government understood the importance of the redress scheme to the many thousands of people who had suffered horrific and often systemic sexual abuse for many years in both government and non-government institutions in Queensland.

“While some Queensland non-government institutions have already committed to opt in to the scheme, now is the time for those who have not committed to the scheme to do the right thing by those who suffered abuse in their institutions and get on board. 

“It is the responsibility of all institutions to take responsibility for the sexual abuse of children who they were meant to care for and protect.

“This scheme is very important for people who endured these horrendous experiences of sexual abuse, as it acknowledges what they have been through. We are working to do all we can so people can get the support and recognition they deserve as quickly as possible.”

People who received redress under the Queensland Redress Scheme will still be eligible to apply for redress under the National Scheme.

Ms Farmer said the Queensland Government’s participation in the Scheme was expected to commence by late 2018.

“Redress is about healing, justice and recognising past wrongs. Recognising the harm that people suffered is an important step towards their recovery,” she said.

“The Palaszczuk Government will make sure that people who experienced child sexual abuse in our government institutions are given the recognition, support and dignity they deserve and have long waited for.”

Redress will be provided to eligible applicants through three ways: a monetary payment; access to counselling and psychological care; and the option to receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible for providing the redress. 

Payments will range up to $150,000, assessed by the National Scheme Operator on a case by case basis, taking into account the circumstances in each individual application.

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