QLD govt must join national redress scheme for child abuse survivors
24th Feb 2017
The Queensland Government must publicly commit to opting in to the Federal Government’s redress scheme for survivors of institutional child abuse, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.
ALA QLD President Michelle James said that Queensland had recently made great strides in using legislative change to promote justice for survivors of institutional child abuse, but that more still needed to be done.
“The Australian Lawyers Alliance is calling on the Queensland Government to publically commit to joining the Federal Government’s national redress scheme,” Ms James said.
“While the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victorian governments have all committed to the scheme, Queensland is still yet to do so. This step is crucial so that Queensland survivors of institutional child abuse have equitable access to justice and compensation.”
“The Queensland Government must show leadership and publically confirm it will opt in. In addition, all institutions which saw children abused while in their care must also opt-in,” Ms James said.
Ms James congratulated the Queensland government for acting in 2016 to remove the limitation period acting as a bar on survivors wishing to seek recompense for the injuries caused as a result of this abuse.
“Removing the limitation period for redress was a huge accomplishment that had so long been worked towards by survivors and those who represent them. There is no doubt that this reform was a significant milestone in Queensland legal history,” Ms James said.
“But there is more to do. The Royal Commission has made a number of other recommendations around law reform to enable access to justice for survivors who will run into other legal obstacles. These obstacles include the Ellis Defence – which allows the Catholic Church to use complex trustee arrangements for property assets to thwart efforts by abuse survivors to obtain justice and compensation.”
“We look forward to working further with the Queensland government and relevant institutions to adopt the recommendations by the Royal Commission in Queensland as quickly as possible to allow victims of institutional abuse to final achieve justice,” Ms James said.
For further details, contact Australian Lawyers Alliance Media Manager Nick Buchan on 0466 004 232, (02) 9258 7700 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.