The Albanese Labor Government will invest $15 million to ensure the National Redress Scheme is properly resourced and able to process the significant number of applications received.
Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth said that victim-survivors of institutional child sexual abuse deserve the best possible scheme and should have their claims processed in a timely way.
“No-one should have to wait any longer than necessary to gain both emotional and practical support – and importantly – full resolution of a claim. Victim-survivors have already suffered enough,” Minister Rishworth said.
“The former government was not committed to resourcing this Scheme and did not give victim-survivors or this scheme the attention it deserved.
"The $15 million of targeted investment that our Government is providing will directly address the significant increase in applications and make sure they are advanced as quickly as possible," Minister Rishworth said.
As confidence in the scheme grows, along with the number of institutions, there has been a resulting increase in applications – but the former government did not have enough funding in place to meet this growing need.
The Department of Social Services is committed to adequately staffing the Scheme to provide a more timely response.
The additional $15 million will help fund staff, Independent Decision Makers and cover any operational costs.
More than 20,000 applications have been made to the Scheme since July 2018 – delivering over 11,000 outcomes.
In the three-years to March 2022, the Scheme received an average of 307 applications per month.
In the seven-months following March 2022, the Scheme has received an average of 776 applications per month.
Application processing times vary due to individual circumstances and the complexity of the issues involved.
There are 45 Redress Support Services across the country, offering practical and emotional support and specialised services to First Nations Australians, people living with disabilities and those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
More than 600 institutions have now signed up to the scheme.
At the recent Ministers’ Governance Board meeting held last month, Ministers from states, territories and the Commonwealth confirmed their resolute and ongoing commitment to improving support for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
A key outcome of the meeting will see a victim-survivors roundtable enshrined into the governance arrangements. This will make the Scheme survivor-centred and more respectful of people’s lived experiences.
It is intended the roundtable will l sit between sessions of the Ministers’ Governance Board to formalise input into the Scheme and enable more informed and compassionate decision-making.
An independent review of the Scheme was publicly released in June last year. The Government will issue a full, transparent and final response to all 38 recommendations by early 2023.