29 January, 2016
The Truth Justice and Healing Council today welcomed the announcement from the Commonwealth Government that it will negotiate with state and territory governments for the introduction of a nationally consistent redress framework for the survivors of child sexual abuse.
“What is disappointing, however, is that the Commonwealth isn’t further down the track,” Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church’s TJHC said today.
“This is, at best, a tentative start to what has been a very long wait for child sexual abuse survivors.
“The Commonwealth and the states have had Commissioner McClellan’s recommendations on redress for many months and I think survivors could have expected a bit more from today’s statement from Attorney General Brandis and the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter.
“Despite the lack of detail and the delays, it is good news that a process, driven by the Commonwealth, is now in place and survivors can expect something soon.
“What will be important is that the relevant ministers in each government take direct responsibility for their state’s response to the process.
“It cannot be left to bureaucrats and treasury officials to decide how, as a nation, we provide redress to victims of child sexual abuse.
“They, like representatives from so many other institutions including the Catholic Church, will have vested interests in keeping costs down and will be institutionally protective.
“This is the very issue that led to the crisis of institutional child sexual abuse in the first place,” Mr Sullivan said.
Read the Government’s joint media release here.
Media contact: Michael Salmon 0417 495 018
The Truth Justice and Healing Council is coordinating the Catholic Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
For more information on the Truth Justice and Healing Council go to: www.tjhcouncil.org.au
For more information on the Royal Commission go to: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/