Southern Metropolitan Region - national redress scheme (9.11.2016)
Written on the 11 November 2016
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
Almost three years ago I had the privilege of tabling the Betrayal of Trust report in this house. There were a number of recommendations at the time in relation to issues that we concluded during the course of our inquiry. One of them was to look at a Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal-type system for redress. I note that earlier this year the Attorney-General and my constituency question is to the Attorney-General made some comments in relation to the government working on this very issue in response to those recommendations that we made in that report.
Only a couple of weeks ago the federal government highlighted that they were considering a national redress scheme and asking the states and territories to assist in that process.
More recently the Attorney-General has spoken about working with the commonwealth, so my question to the Attorney-General as this affects many of my constituents, as it does many other Victorians is:
When will the government commit to the national redress scheme as has been highlighted recently by Minister Christian Porter?
The PRESIDENT Order! It is not really a constituency question.
Ms CROZIER Why is that?The PRESIDENT It refers to a broad government policy and a broad government response.
Ms CROZIER A constituent has raised it with me. Many constituents have raised it with me, in fact.The PRESIDENT I will let it stand today, but you are tackling a broad government response
Ms CROZIER Can I rephrase?The PRESIDENT If you could rephrase, it would help me.
Ms CROZIER Thank you, President.
A number of my constituents have requested me to ask the Attorney-General when the government will commit to the national government's redress scheme so that they have some certainty in relation to a redress scheme being put in place.
The PRESIDENT As I said, I will let it stand today, but might I say that the rephrase was not satisfactory, either, in the sense that any member in this place could stand up and claim to have heard from a constituent or a group of constituents about such and such. I am not in a position to judge whether that is accurate, but I am in a position to judge whether the matter goes to a particular action within the electorate as distinct from a matter of broad policy. Even the preamble on this one was about your involvement with the original report, which I understand and so forth. So, yes, I accept that it is likely, because of your involvement in that report, that constituents are perhaps more inclined to ask you than other members in other circumstances how it is going. On that basis I am letting it stand, but I do remind members that constituency questions are not about government responses to matters and they are not about government policy. They are about getting a specific action done in an area. There are other opportunities for members to process these matters, like, for instance, the adjournment debate.
Southern Metropolitan Region
Answers to Constituency Questions GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB)
Asked by: Ms Crozier
Directed to: Attorney-General
Asked on: 9 November 2016
On 4 November 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced that it will establish a national redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse. The scheme will offer a financial payment of up to $150 000, options to receive psychological counselling and a direct personal response from the responsible institutionshould the survivor request one.
The Commonwealth Government has also advised that state and territory governments, as well as institutions, can opt into the scheme.
Following the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in September last year, Victoria's preference has always been for a national scheme. However, the Victorian Government is also committed to implementing the recommendations from Betrayal of Trust, and it has been working to establish a Victorian redress scheme, in the event that a national scheme does not eventuate.
The announcement was the first time the Commonwealth Government has indicated that it's prepared to operate a national scheme, and I am urgently seeking more detail from Minister Porter about how a national scheme would operate, including how payments would be calculated and what funding the Commonwealth intends to contribute.
The Victorian Government is willing to cooperate with the Commonwealth to achieve a national scheme, but we first want to make sure that survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will get the support they need without having to go through a lengthy and traumatic process.