Labor to set up fund for victims of church abuse

Sydney Morning Herald

October 26, 2015

Mark Kenny
Chief political correspondent

Sixty-thousand Australian victims of child sexual and other abuses at the hands of churches will be able to seek financial compensation under a future Labor government with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten set to announce Labor’s support for a new “national redress scheme”.

Mr Shorten will formally unveil the commitment on Tuesday in Melbourne, pledging $33 million initially even though the bulk of any financial liability would still fall on the religious institutions themselves.

The proposal reflects a key recommendation of the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

While it reflects only a fraction of the estimated $4.01 billion in combined liabilities of a full redress scheme, the policy is likely to be welcomed by victims as it would drive the process of obtaining recompense and provide official recognition of institutional abuse over decades.

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