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Church welcomes funding for child sex abuse survivors

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An initial $33.4 million announced in last night's Federal Budget to kick-start the establishment of a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse has been welcomed by the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council.

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Council CEO Francis Sullivan said the funding was a good start and was fully supported by the Church.

“What we now need to see is all state governments and all other institutions where child sexual abuse took place become part of the scheme. The scheme will not work unless the state governments step up,” he said.

“The main game is that no matter where you were abused in Australia and no matter what institutions, everybody has to participate in the scheme so that victims get a chance to get redress. This is the best option available for survivors of child sexual abuse to receive justice and compensation.”

The budget has committed $33.4 million to meet the scheme’s establishment costs and provide ongoing access to support services for survivors. Funding beyond the next year has not been revealed due to ‘legal sensitivities’.

The scheme will begin taking applications for redress from survivors of abuse in Commonwealth institutions from July 2018. The national scheme relies on the Commonwealth, states, territories, churches and charities agreeing to opt into it and to fund redress payments for survivors who were abused in the institutions they operated.

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