New sanctions for failure to join the National Redress Scheme

The Morrison Government plans to strip organisations of their charitable status if they fail to fulfil their obligation to join the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Australian Charities and Not-for profits Commission would be given the power to deregister a charity which did not take reasonable steps to participate in the Scheme.

“The Morrison Government has been absolutely clear that we expect institutions named by a survivor in an application or named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to join the National Redress Scheme,” Minister Ruston said.

“It is completely unacceptable for named institutions to refuse to accept their moral obligation and responsibility to acknowledge the wrongs committed.

“This proposal delivers on the Prime Minister’s commitment to place further sanctions on recalcitrant institutions and we hope this will encourage them to reconsider their position allowing child sexual abuse survivors to receive the redress and recognition they undeniably deserve.”

The warning comes as Minister Ruston today announced a further 70 institutions have joined the Scheme which means more than 150 applications could now be progressed.

Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters Zed Seselja said a new ACNC governance standard would require registered charities to take all reasonable steps to become a participating non-government institution in the Scheme if a claim has been, or was likely to be, made against them.

“The Government will also introduce legislation this year which amends the definition of a basic religious charity (BRC) in the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 to remove a religious institution’s eligibility to be classified as a BRC if it has been named in an application but refuses to join the Scheme.

“Together these changes will result in a registered charity which fails to join the Scheme or take reasonable steps to participate in the Scheme becoming subject to a suite of the ACNC’s existing compliance powers, including deregistration. Deregistration would result in the entity losing access to a range of Commonwealth benefits, tax and other concessions.”

Relevant legislation will be introduced into Parliament before the end of the year through the Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 6) Bill 2020 to give effect to the changes to the definition of BRC.

In addition, Treasury will be seeking submissions on the draft legislative instrument and explanatory materials for the introduction of the new governance standard in the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013. The consultation period will be open from 7 December 2020 to 8 January 2021.

Minister Ruston thanked the latest group of institutions to join the Scheme which includes 14 which were named in the Royal Commission.

“I am encouraged to see institutions doing the honourable thing by survivors and signing up. It also demonstrates leadership in the community with a commitment to child safety and to ensure the wrongs of the past never happen again,” Minister Ruston said.

“About 80 institutions which provided an intent to join before the 30 June 2020 deadline are reminded that they have until 31 December to complete the steps to sign on or they will be publicly named and face sanctions.”

To date the Commonwealth, all state and territory governments and 358 non-government institutions are participating.

In addition, the Queensland Government has agreed to be the funder of last resort for Piabun Farm, Yuddika Family Group Home and Bethel Children’s Home.

A meeting of the National Redress Scheme Governance Board will take place today.

Further information about the National Redress Scheme is available on the website: www.nationalredress.gov.au

Attachment A – Institutions joining the Scheme

New Non-government Institutions (participating groups)

  • Academy of Yoga Science (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Effective Aid International (QLD)
  • ACS Mutual – Gateway Church Tasmania (TAS)
  • ACS Mutual – Lighthouse Baptist Church (QLD)
  • ACS Mutual – Pioneer Network Australia (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Fellowship of Vineyard Churches Australia (NSW, QLD)
  • Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia (ACT, NSW)
  • Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (NSW)
  • Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands (NSW, ACT, TAS, QLD, VIC)
  • Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus (NSW, QLD, SA)
  • Fusion Australia (NSW, WA, VIC, TAS, SA, ACT, QLD)
  • John Paul College (QLD)
  • Maharishi Foundation Australia (SA)
  • Melbourne Legacy (VIC)
  • Menzies Inc (VIC)
  • Minda Incorporated (SA)
  • Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (VIC)
  • Ngala Family Services (WA)
  • Presbyterian Church NSW & ACT (NSW, ACT)
  • Presentation Sisters, Wagga (NSW)
  • Redeemer Baptist School (NSW)
  • Sisters of Our Lady of Sion (VIC)
  • Sisters of Nazareth (VIC, WA)
  • Society of Christian Doctrine Brothers (SA, QLD, TAS, VIC, NSW)
  • The GEO Group (NSW, QLD, SA, VIC, WA)
  • The Order of the Capuchin Friars Minor (NSW, QLD, VIC, SA)
  • The Smith Family (National)
  • Toowoomba Grammar School (QLD)

New Non-government Institutions (lone institutions)

  • ACS Mutual – Acts Church Incorporated (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Adult & Teen Challenge WA Inc (WA)
  • ACS Mutual – Alofa Tunoa Pentecostal Church (QLD)
  • ACS Mutual – Bethany Christian School (SA)
  • ACS Mutual – Cairns Cook Islands Christian Church Association (QLD)
  • ACS Mutual – Central Newcastle (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Douglas Road Community Church (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Good Shepherd Christian School (QLD)
  • ACS Mutual – Jesus Family Centre (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Jesus is Lord Church (Australia) (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Lighthouse Christian College (VIC)
  • ACS Mutual – MiraclePoint (WA)
  • ACS Mutual – Newfrontiers Grace City Church (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Sherwood Christian Rehab Centre (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Summerland Christian Life Centre (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Teen Challenge SA (SA)
  • ACS Mutual – The Grainery Christian Network (NSW)
  • ACS Mutual – Toowoomba Healing Rooms (QLD)
  • ACS Mutual – Victory Church International (SA)
  • ACS Mutual – Warrandyte Community Church (VIC)
  • Association for Parent-Controlled Christian Schools at Brisbane (Westside Christian College) (QLD)
  • Australian Youth Orchestra (NSW)
  • Bethany Community Support Inc. (VIC)
  • Brisbane Youth Service (QLD)
  • Individual Empowerment Network (NT, QLD, TAS)
  • Legacy Club of Wagga Wagga (NSW)
  • Lorien-Novalis School for Rudolph Steiner Education (NSW)
  • Newcastle University Sport (NSW)
  • Presbyterian Church Tasmania (TAS)
  • Puffing Billy Preservation Society (VIC)
  • Queenwood School for Girls (NSW)
  • Salvatorian Fathers (WA)
  • Scotch College (VIC)
  • Scripture Union of South Australia (SA)
  • Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary (NSW/WA)
  • St George Christian School (NSW)
  • St John Ambulance SA (SA)
  • The Disability Trust (NSW)
  • Townsville Grammar School (QLD)
  • Trustees of the Pious Society of St. Charles (Scalabrinian Missionaries) (National)
  • Trustees for Sydney Grammar School (NSW)
  • Victor Harbor Christadelphian Ecclesia Incorporated (TAS)
  • Worowa Aboriginal College (VIC)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – ACC Schools participating group

  • Coolum Beach Christian College Ltd (QLD)
  • Kings Christian Education Ltd (QLD)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – Australian Christian Churches participating group

  • ACC International Relief (VIC)
  • Freeway Church Newcastle (NSW)
  • Heavenly Feast Revival Church Australia (VIC)
  • Liverpool Immanuel Christian Fellowship (NSW)
  • One Living Church International (VIC)
  • Perth City Church (WA)
  • Plus Ultra (QLD)
  • Tamil Christian Fellowship Melbourne (VIC)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – C3 Churches participating group

  • C3 Church Coomera (VIC)
  • C3 Church Mackay (VIC)
  • C3 Church Wollondilly (VIC)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – CRC Churches participating group

  • Living Hope Family Church (VIC)
  • Tennant Creek Christian Family (NT)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – Crosslink participating group

  • Good News Association (QLD)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – Fellowship of Vineyard Churches Australia participating group

  • Cabramatta Vineyard Church (NSW)
  • Vineyard Christian Fellowship Brisbane West (QLD)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – Full Gospel Churches of Australia participating group

  • Trinity Life Church Inc (TAS)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – Ministers Fellowship International participating group

  • The Stables Christian Centre (SA)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – New Covenant Ministries International participating group

  • Revolution! City Church (VIC)

Addition to the ACS Mutual – The Potters House participating group

  • The Potters House Christian Church Newcastle (NSW)
  • The Potters House Christian Fellowship Australia (NSW)

Addition to the ACS Mutual – United Pentecostal Church of Australia participating group

  • United Pentecostal Church of Caroline Springs (VIC)

Additions to the ACS Mutual – Youth With A Mission participating group

  • YWAM Ships Newcastle (NSW)
  • Youth With A Mission (Perth) (WA)
  • Youth With A Mission (Sydney) (NSW)

Addition to the Anglican Church of Australia participating group

  • Canterbury College Limited (QLD)
  • EPIC Employment Services (QLD)
  • Mission to Seafarers Brisbane Inc (QLD)
  • Mission to Seafarers Newcastle Inc (QLD)
  • Mission to Seafarers Victoria Inc (VIC)
  • Shelford Girls’ Grammar (VIC)
  • St Andrew’s School (SA)
  • The AMOS Company Pty Ltd (ACT)
  • The Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla (NSW)
  • The Society of the Sacred Advent (QLD)
  • Walford Anglican School for Girls (SA)

Addition to the Catholic Church of Australia participating group

  • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul (VIC, SA, QLD, ACT, NSW, WA, TAS)

Addition to the Uniting Church in Australia participating group

  • Ballarat and Clarendon College (VIC)