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12 March 1991 - Current

Page 622
21 February 2019
ASSEMBLY Adjournment Frank McGuire
Mr McGUIRE (Broadmeadows) (17:26:49): (160) My adjournment request is to the Attorney-General. The action I seek is an update on the redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse. I make this request following recent revelations that only 28 abuse victims have been compensated under the $4 billion redress scheme, despite 2335 people applying, because key states and institutions have been slow to commit. This is a revelation that I find to be incredible, given that a mission secured during the Victorian parliamentary inquiry helped initiate the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Betrayal of Trust report, which was handed down in 2013, recommended the establishment of an alternative mechanism to civil litigation to provide options for increased monetary payments, counselling and psychological services to survivors of institutional child abuse. The royal commission endorsed this key recommendation and reform. When the legislation enabling Victoria to participate in the national redress scheme passed last year in this chamber it was given bipartisan support. Yet after all this time that has passed, there are still real concerns that have been brought to me by one of my constituents directly and also by Chrissie Foster, whose testimony before the inquiry, along with all the other victims and survivors, was incredible for its fortitude and courage. We are really just trying to establish why the delay, why people are now feeling that they are not going to get the amount that was recommended by the royal commission and what is going on behind the scenes. I note that at the time I am raising this matter there is a major conference in Rome, headed by Pope Francis, to actually address these issues. So on behalf of the people who have gone through this harrowing experience for so long, we would like to see a resolution that is fair and just and pays tribute to their courage and fortitude.