The Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council will write to the Attorneys-General of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments calling on them to start work on a national compensation scheme – with no caps – for victims of child sexual abuse.
The call comes in the wake of a recommendation from the Victorian Parliamentary Committee for a Victorian compensation scheme and recent comments by Royal Commissioner Peter McClellan that a general redress or compensation scheme should be considered.
Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council said that while a state-based scheme is a significant initiative, a national scheme with consistent investigative powers and compensation payments should be considered by the Federal, state and territory governments.
“It is now time for governments and other organisations to take a national approach to providing compensation and justice for the victims of child sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said.
“A national compensation scheme, funded by the Church and other organisations and with no caps on payments, is an important first step in taking away from institutions, such as the Catholic Church, the role of investigating complaints and determining compensation for victims.
“We will also call on all Governments to start working towards a national approach to uniform police reporting requirements and statutory complaint handling processes.
“The fact the Victorian Inquiry has called for a state scheme and the possibility that the Royal Commission may recommend a national scheme should be enough for all Governments to now start considering adopting a national approach to all key issues associated with child sexual abuse and child protection.”
The Victorian Parliamentary Committee released its report on the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations yesterday.
The Truth Justice and Healing Council is coordinating the Catholic Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Media contact: Michael Salmon 0417 495 018