National Redress Scheme Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the Scheme run for?
The Scheme will run for 10 years to 30 June 2028.
Subject to the passage of legislation, people can lodge applications from 1 July 2018 until 30 June 2027.
What will the application process be?
Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 July 2018 people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victorian, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory government institutional settings will be able to apply for redress, either through a paper form or an online platform.
Subject to the passage of legislation, people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Queensland government settings will be able to apply for redress in late 2018.
A dedicated website and telephone helpline will be available to provide information.
Specialist free legal support services and community support services will also be funded to assist people throughout the application process.
What about the people who experienced abuse in states other than New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory or Queensland?
People who experienced abused in the care of South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia governments cannot access the scheme until that government joins in. The Commonwealth Government is continuing discussions with these remaining state and territory governments, as well as non-government institutions, with the intention to deliver the best outcome for people across Australia who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
What about people who experienced abuse in a non-government institution like a church?
Non–government institutions need to each agree to join the Scheme so that people who experienced abuse while in their care can access redress. This includes non-government institutions in New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Queensland.
What happens if an institution refuses to participate in the Scheme?
The Commonwealth Government continues to work closely with state and territory governments and non-government institutions, including churches and charities. The Commonwealth Government remains confident there is a strong willingness from governments and institutions to make amends and participate in a Scheme.
How will redress payments affect Centrelink or other Government payments?
Redress payments will be non-taxable and protected from Commonwealth debt recovery processes. Payments will also be exempt from any income tests that are relevant to other Australian Government payments.
What kind of help will be available under the Scheme?
The Government understands that making an application for redress may be a very difficult experience and that people may need support and assistance through this process.
The Royal Commission recommended that community-based support services be available to support people applying for the scheme, and that is the approach we are taking.
Redress Support Services will be available with the Scheme to provide timely access to trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support for people during the application process. This includes helping people to prepare and submit their application, and supporting them as they receive a decision on their application.
In addition, the scheme will also provide access to free specialist Legal Support Services and financial counselling.
What else is the Commonwealth doing to protect children?
The Australian Government works with state and territory governments, law enforcement agencies, the community sector and researchers to keep children safe. This includes work under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children to develop the National Statement of Principles on Child Safe Organisations, as well as funding for a range of early intervention and prevention services, including:
- Children and Parent Support Services
- Communities for Children Facilitating Partners
- Intensive Family Support Services.
See details of funded organisations at http://serviceproviders.dss.gov.au.