National Redress Scheme

SABRA LANE: Organisations that haven’t signed up to the National Redress Scheme for the survivors of institutional child sexual abuse are to be named and shamed by governments in the new year. The scheme has been running for five months, but so far, only 11 organisations have opted in, and 21 applications had been successful. Paul Fletcher is the federal Minister for Families and Social Services, and he’s responsible for overseeing the redress scheme, and he’s speaking here with Samantha Donovan.

PAUL FLETCHER: In our communique from the meeting, we said that what we intended to do was commence public reporting on the scheme early in the new year. We’ll include within that institutions which have signed up to the scheme and also institutions which have been the subject of an application which have not signed up to the scheme. Now, at this stage, quite a number of institutions have joined up to the scheme, so, the Scouts, YMCA, and others. The first group of Anglican church institutions joined up to the scheme within the last week or two, and I will be announcing today that 27 of the 35 Catholic diocese and archdiocese around Australia will now be participating in the scheme, and that includes the Archdiocese of Adelaide, the Archdiocese of Brisbane, the Archdiocese of Melbourne, the Archdiocese of Sydney. So we are now starting to see some significant participation in the scheme from both the Anglican and the Catholic churches, but certainly, when ministers met earlier this week in the Governance Board for the Redress Scheme, we did express our strong collective view that we want to see institutions signed up to the scheme as quickly as possible.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: So by naming those recalcitrant organisations that haven’t signed up, you’re hoping to put pressure on them to do so as quickly as possible?

PAUL FLETCHER: Well, the intention is to provide transparency for, in particular, survivors.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Survivor organisations like CLAN say that organisations that haven’t signed up to the National Redress Scheme should have their tax breaks withdrawn and should be ineligible for government grants until they do join up. Are those steps you might look at taking?

PAUL FLETCHER: Well, what I’d say to you is that the measure that I have announced together with my state and territory ministerial counterparts this week, we believe is an important part of communicating in strong terms to all of the institutions, the expectations, not just of survivors but of, both the Australian Government and state and territory governments that the relevant institutions join and join as promptly as possible.

SABRA LANE: That’s the federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, and he was speaking there with Samantha Donovan.