Published: 11 May 2017
Author: Amy Olver

New details on Commonwealth led Compensation Scheme

There has been a distinct lack of details provided about the Commonwealth led compensation scheme since it was announced by Malcolm Turnbull in November last year (and blogged about by us here: Sexual Abuse Redress scheme finally announced. The lack of clarification has left survivors questioning whether they will be eligible under the scheme and wondering how such a scheme will be implemented by 2018 as committed to by the federal government.

However, the recent announcement of the federal government budget brings renewed hope with a commitment that an initial $33.4 million has been allocated to establish the scheme. In a joint media release Attorney General, George Brandis and Christian Porter, Minister for Social Services provided further details. You can find the full media release here: Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

They confirmed that the State and Territory Attorney Generals, along with other non-government organisations, will be briefed in the later part of May about the details of the controversial opt in scheme.

Further, it is expected that a telephone helpline and website will be available from March to provide information about the scheme with the scheme formally commencing in July of next year and that applications will be assessed by an expert panel against a range of factors.

Whilst it is useful to have some confirmation that the federal scheme is moving forward, much remains unknown about the parameters of the scheme which has to date been touted to be compensation for survivors of child sexual abuse. For example, it is not clear whether other forms of abuse including physical and emotional will be addressed by the scheme or whether those who have previously settled their matters will be entitled to receive a further top up under the scheme.

Until details such as these are publically released it remains unclear how successful the scheme will be and whether potential defendants to claims are likely to opt into the scheme. For a scheme that is aimed at compensating survivors of abuse it is a curious decision to brief the potential defendants to claims before briefing the survivors themselves.

Our specialised team will continue to provide updates on redress on both twitter and through our blogs. Further, we maintain a database for those who want to remain updated about the developing redress scheme and any entitlements they may have.

If you are a survivor of abuse at an Institutions about your potential rights and want advice or want to be placed on our database please call 1300 366 441 or email us directly at iaclaims@rctlaw.com.au.

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