Malcolm Turnbull blasts ‘indifference and resistance’ by churches in child sex abuse letter

The Sydney Morning Herald

March 27, 2018

By Michael Koziol

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has tried to pressure the major churches into circumventing the states and immediately joining the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, telling them their “indifference and resistance” must stop.

Just two states – NSW and Victoria – as well as the Australian Capital Territory have signed on to the Commonwealth scheme, which would provide up to $150,000 in compensation for 60,000 survivors of abuse in government and non-government institutions.

States must commit to the scheme to enable institutions in their jurisdiction to formally sign on. So far, the major churches in NSW and Victoria have intimated they will join a fully national scheme but want to see the details.

In a letter obtained by Fairfax Media, Mr Turnbull urged institutions including the Catholic church, the Anglican church, Scouts Australia and the YMCA to opt into the scheme “as soon as possible” rather than wait for the holdout states.

“I am seeking your in-principle support to join the scheme, so survivors know your position as we continue to seek agreement from all state and territory governments,” Mr Turnbull wrote.

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