I am calling on the Victorian Government to deny funding and grants to organisations that fail to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for institutional sexual abuse survivors.
The State and Federal Governments needed to take swift and clear action on organisations that continued to elude their accountability, and that the Federal Government should trigger the cancellation of charitable tax exemptions for institutions that refuse to sign up to the Redress Scheme.
I have been advocating to the Victorian Attorney General’s office and the Federal Minister for Social Services for more than a year on behalf of survivors and said the scheme needed a further overhaul to stop adding more trauma to survivors.
Derryn Hinch was Chair of the Federal Joint Select Committee that in 2018 recommended an overhaul of the Redress Scheme and substantive legislative changes across Federal, State and Territory governments. This included penalties such as withdrawal of charitable status and the suspension of tax exemptions and concessions for institutions that refused to sign up to the scheme.
My work with survivors and support groups across Northern Victoria had highlighted inconsistencies with judgements and redress offers that were adding more trauma to the lives of those who had been abused as young children in institutional settings.
More than 40 organisations that are yet to sign up should be ashamed and face significant penalties. The Federal Government has previously said it would name and shame organisations that failed to sign up to the scheme.