LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1

4.6       The 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.

Recommendation 2

4.8       The 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.

Recommendation 3

4.12    The 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.

Recommendation 4

4.17    The 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.

Recommendation 5

4.21    The committee recommends the Government consider mechanisms to ensure ongoing counselling is available to survivors, should they need it.

Recommendation 6

4.23    The 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.

Recommendation 7

4.26    The 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.

Recommendation 8

4.27    The 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 warrant.

Recommendation 9

4.29    The 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.

Recommendation 10

4.31    The 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.

Recommendation 11

4.34    The committee recommends these bills be passed.

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