Access to national redress scheme to be expanded


Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will have expanded access to a national redress under new laws introduced to federal parliament.

The laws, brought to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, will allow for applicants to submit new information about their situation that may not have been available when the original redress decision was made.

Measures will also be put in place to ensure survivors who request a review of their redress will be no worse off under the new decision.

Restrictions will be removed on people being able to make applications to the redress scheme from prison.

Previously, applicants were barred from the redress scheme if they were sentenced for longer than five years, and would only be eligible following a review.

The new law will now limit such a review to those convicted for unlawful killing, sexual offences or terrorism offences.

The changes to the redress scheme came following a review, which made 38 recommendations to the federal government of which 29 were supported in full and five were supported in part.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said it was critical for the redress scheme to be updated over time to make it easier for survivors.

"It is essential that the needs of survivors are being met, that the scheme is operating effectively and that the unique and evolving challenges in administering a trauma-informed scheme are being addressed," she told parliament on Wednesday.

"This bill will improve the accessibility to redress, enhance choice for survivors increase transparency and hold the scheme accountable."

The scheme was first set up in 2018 following the findings of the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse.

As of November, 496 non-government institutions were taking part in the scheme, covering more than 69,000 sites across the country.

In the five years since the scheme has been running, 13,400 payments totalling $1.2 billion have been paid to survivors.

The laws have been developed in consultation with all states and territories.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028