committee recommends the Australian Government should consider reducing the two
year deadline for institutions to opt in to the Redress Scheme, and should
consider options to encourage greater participation in the Redress Scheme, as
outlined in chapter two.
committee recommends the Department should ensure that planned consultations on
the rules of the Redress Scheme include survivors' representative groups, and
ensure information on rules is communicated as it becomes available.
committee recommends the Department should actively engage with survivors'
representative groups to provide clear communications for survivors, the
community and media on how decisions will be made and matters that will be
taken into account in making those decisions. Where necessary communication
should reference the average payment amount rather than focussing on the
maximum redress payment.
committee recommends that, in further developing the operational assessment
elements of the Redress Scheme, the Department take into consideration the
long-term impact of non-sexual abuse on survivors, including the needs of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors.
committee recommends the Government consider mechanisms to ensure ongoing
counselling is available to survivors, should they need it.
committee recommends the Redress Support Service incorporate referral of
affected family members, in cases where it is necessary to meet the critical
needs of the survivor, to existing counselling services.
committee recommends that in developing the minimum timeframes in the Redress
Scheme, for the provision of documents or answers to an offer of redress, the
Department should consider the special circumstances of survivors in remote
communities, those with functional communication barriers and survivors
experiencing trauma or mental health episodes linked to their abuse.
committee recommends that the government consider changing the period of
acceptance for redress from three months to six months, including provision for
survivors to request an extension to this acceptance period where circumstances
committee recommends that in finalising the position on the exclusion of
serious criminal offenders from the Redress Scheme, the Australian, state and
territory governments should consider the value of the Redress Scheme as a tool
for the rehabilitation of offenders, and that excluding criminal offenders can
have the unintended consequence of institutions responsible for child sexual
abuse not being held liable.
committee recommends that the annual report to Parliament on the operation of
the Redress Scheme should include detailed data to understand the experiences
of people going through the Redress Scheme and to provide a basis of any necessary
refinements to the Scheme, including details of the number of applications
received, average processing times and average payments offered.
committee recommends these bills be passed.
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