Child Abuse Royal Commission Report 'Should Be Made Available Immediately'

02/09/2015 5:41 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Every federal MP in the country will be targeted in a letter writing campaign to gauge their position on independent redress for abuse survivors.

On Monday the Child Abuse Royal Commission handed down its recommendations on how to compensate people abused while in the state and non-state care to the government -- but the report won’t be made public until it is tabled in parliament.

The timeline of the tabling is up to the Government.

“We’ll never go away,” the executive officer for Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN), Leonie Sheedy, told the Huffington Post Australia.

“We’re going to be writing to every politician in Australia and asking them what is their position on national, independent redress and this could affect every sitting member’s electorate.”

While the contents of the Commission's recommendations are unknown, it is likely the Commission has recommended a national scheme as the best way forward.

Ms Sheedy said time is running out for abuse survivors and the delay in releasing the report was having an effect.

“It means that people still feel that the Australian Government doesn’t care what happened to its own children who were abused in orphanages and children’s homes,” she said.

“People are dying. They have no money for their funerals.”

In January the Royal Commission released a consultation paper with modelling for a $4.37 billion scheme for 65,000 eligible survivors.

At the time Commission Chair Peter McClellen said based on the modelling a contribution of $1.971 billion would be required from all governments, while $2.407 billion would be the contribution required from private institutions.

The government responded to the consultation paper in March, saying it was strongly of the view that institutions in which the abuse occurred should bear responsibility for providing redress.

“The Federal government does not see itself having a role as ‘funder of last resort," the response said.

Monash University lawyer and researcher Judy Courtin said the government's March response hit abuse survivors hard.

She was surprised the report had not been made public.

“It should be made public immediately,” she said.

“It’s sort of like an ongoing abuse in a way.

“It’s continuing to affect victims and their families.”

The Australian Lawyer’s alliance Dr Andrew Morrison said the delay was not surprising, but he would be greatly surprised if it wasn’t released by the weekend.

The Royal Commission said the report will only be made public after it is tabled in parliament and the timing is a matter for the government.

Labor on Tuesday called on the Government to publicly release the recommendations so institutions can respond as quickly as possible.

The Salvation Army has voiced its support for a national redress scheme says releasing the report will greatly help survivors who suffered abuse while in the care of institutions, including their own.

Comment has been sought from the Attorney-General’s office.

Last month Social Services minister Scott Morrison said he would ask his department to conduct a scoping study on who would be eligible for redress.

"The Minister has been following through on discussions he has had with representatives of the CLAN," a spokesman for Morrison told HuffPost Australia.

"Consistent with the undertakings with CLAN the Department was tasked to perform some assessment work on options."

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