Anger at child sex abuse compo cut

The West Australian

April 29, 2014

Witnesses at the first Perth royal commission public hearing into child sex abuse yesterday described feeling devalued, angry and betrayed after reliving their experiences only to have the State Government almost halve maximum pay-outs under the compensation scheme for abuse in care.

Child migrant Oliver Cosgrove, who told the hearing into four WA Christian Brothers’ homes of his physical and sexual abuse at Clontarf and Castledare, said the application process under the WA Redress compensation scheme had been “onerous”.

He said the Liberal-National State Government’s decision to reduce the maximum payout under the scheme from $80,000 to $45,000 was “disgraceful and reprehensible”.

“I found that the Redress WA process did not provide justice,” Mr Cosgrove told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. “It provided an apology with a number on it,” he said.

John Wells, who was also abused at Castledare and Clontarf with his twin brother, told the hearing he was not interested in receiving apologies, which were nothing more than an attempt to clear consciences.

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