Page 2410 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 31 July 2018

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single piece of infrastructure that the ACT government has delivered. It will provide the equivalent level of benefit to the ACT community. There will be variations in a contract of any nature for an infrastructure project, and there are a number of variations. We will comply with all the necessary requirements in terms of outlining those variations to the contract. I expect those to continue between now and the end of the contract. The government looks forward to providing a summary when construction is completed.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—redress scheme

MS ORR: My question is to the Attorney-General. Can the minister provide an update on the national redress scheme?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Orr for the question on such an important area. The redress scheme has begun taking applications from 1 July this year and it will run for 10 years. It is now truly a national scheme, with all jurisdictions having announced that they will be participating. In addition to that, the Catholic Church, Scouts Australia, the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Uniting Church and the Anglican Church have all announced they will also be participating in the scheme. That means that we can expect that over 90 per cent of anticipated people who claim will be covered by the scheme.

The ACT government is working hard to contribute to developing a scheme that is inclusive and that implements the royal commission’s recommendations. Our position is that all survivors should be treated equally under the scheme. Survivors who have criminal records are also survivors who have endured horrible abuse themselves and there should not be two classes of survivor.

As a human rights jurisdiction, the ACT must consider equal treatment and fairness in all its decisions. That is why the scheme now allows for the ACT government to extend redress to all survivors in the territory. The final redress scheme is one that we joined, confident that human rights in the territory will be respected and confident that real assistance for survivors of child sexual abuse will be helped to rebuild their lives, and that will be provided universally.

MS ORR: What services is the ACT government providing to support people who apply for redress?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary question. This government has been at the forefront of resourcing services that will support people who apply for redress and ensuring that our services are ready to engage with the national scheme.

This budget contains over $400,000 for counselling and support services that will be provided locally. The ACT has committed to fund lifetime counselling for all survivors under the scheme. We have also provided the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre with $120,000 in funding to assist people who are seeking redress. In addition, the Community Services Directorate and the Victims of Crime Commissioner are being provided with additional staff to support local implementation of the scheme.

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