The Royal commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has recommended a redress scheme, stating:
“A process for redress must provide equal access and equal treatment for survivors, regardless of the location, operator, type, continued existence or assets of the institution in which they were abused – if it is to be regarded by survivors as being capable of delivering justice”1.
However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that people who had been convicted of offences which involved jail time would not be eligible for compensation as part of the redress scheme. He did say that he understood the argument for compensating them, and that people with views on this should make submissions to the relevant parliamentary enquiry, apparently to be overseen by Senator Derryn Hinch (so the latter says, but this is disputed by Turnbull)2. So it seems that this is not simply a committee overseeing the response to the recommendations, but yet another enquiry about whether the government will follow the recommendations of an enquiry. It already sounds like the government is attempting to avoid the implementation of some of the recommendations.
Again, with regard to compensating those who have done jail time, Turnbull then said “I understand that argument [for compensation], but equally, providing you can understand how many people would be uncomfortable with and opposed to people who have committed serious offences then being provided compensation by governments”2. This is code for “some of our redneck voters mightn’t like us giving money to criminals”. Who said leadership was dead in the Liberal Party?
Some of these ‘criminals’ have been imprisoned for drug offences directly related to abuse suffered during their childhood. What a disgraceful, unforgiving attitude this government has. These abuse victims now must suffer again, while some of their perpetrators got away scot-free, and some of their facilitators and turners-of-the-blind-eye, will too.