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​NSW supports national redress scheme

Issued: Thursday, 5 November 2015

The NSW Government supports the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse call for a single, national redress scheme, NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today announced.

The final report on redress and civil litigation by the Royal Commission makes a number of recommendations, including establishing a national redress scheme to provide a direct personal response, counselling and psychological care and monetary payments.  

Ms Upton said the Royal Commission has shone a light on some of the darkest chapters of Australia's past.

"The heartbreaking testimony we have heard made it clear the life-long impact child abuse has on people's lives. I acknowledge the bravery shown by survivors to come forward and tell their stories," Ms Upton said.

"While we can never fully right the wrongs of the past or heal old wounds, we must try to make good. We must try to make amends. The NSW Government supports the Royal Commission's keystone recommendation to establish a single, national redress scheme. We believe this is the best way to ensure consistent, accessible justice for survivors regardless of where their abuse occurred.

"Together with my Victorian counterpart the Hon Martin Pakula, Attorney General, I look forward to constructive discussions with my Commonwealth, State and Territory colleagues on this issue over the coming months."

The Royal Commission has called for a single, national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, to be established by no later than 1 July 2017, and for the Commonwealth to announce its intentions by the end of the year.

Importantly, the NSW Government has already acted to give the survivors of institutional child sexual abuse the compassion and care they need and deserve. So far, we have;

  1. Offered unlimited counselling for survivors through the Victims Support Scheme;
  2. Provided extra resources to the Department of Family and Community Services to improve and fast track access to care records;
  3. Commenced consultations on a place of recognition for the then residents of Parramatta Girls Home;
  4. Adopted Guiding Principles to guide NSW Government agencies on how to appropriately respond to civil claims for child sexual abuse; and
  5. Released a discussion paper in January on options for legislative reform to limitations periods in civil claims for child sexual abuse. In addition to the feedback received, the Government will consider the Commission's recommendations on this issue.