Progress made on abuse redress payments

The PM says the pace of redress payments to survivors of institutional child abuse has improved.
The PM says the pace of redress payments to survivors of institutional child abuse has improved.

The number of redress payments made to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse has risen significantly over the past year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously been critical of the fact that only 600 redress payments had been made - a criticism backed by the federal opposition and survivor groups.

But marking the second anniversary of the apology on Thursday, he said 3826 payments had been made at an average of $82,000.

"Two years ago today the parliament on behalf of all Australians apologised unreservedly to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse," Mr Morrison said.

"It's a day that I will never forget, and nor should we."

Of the 409 recommendations made by the royal commission, 206 were directed solely to the Australian government.

Of those, 84 related to redress, which has been implemented, while of the other 122 recommendations, 45 have been fully implemented, 76 are considered in progress and one is still to be implemented.

Work is under way with the states and territories on the other recommendations.

The redress scheme is under review with just over $104 million set aside in the federal budget over four years to improve support services and bring more institutions into the scheme.

Mr Morrison said it was reprehensible four institutions - Jehovah's Witnesses, Fairbridge Restored Limited, Lakes Entrance Pony Club and Kenja Communications - had failed to join the scheme.

"We are finalising the further sanctions the Commonwealth will place on institutions who continue to not join, including withdrawal of the charitable status."

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the apology marked the end of one era and the start of a more hopeful one.

Mr Albanese said Labor would support action against the institutions that had not joined the redress scheme.

"There is no reason for us to ever again become a society that chooses to look away," he said.

Labor has also been seeking to introduce an advance payment scheme for elderly and ill child sexual abuse survivors as part of the redress scheme.

Scotland operates a scheme under which those who were abused in care and are terminally ill or aged 68 and over can get fast-tracked access to support.

Mr Morrison announced extra funding for the first national study into child maltreatment, which will release its results in September 2023, and said a national centre to prevent child abuse was on track to open next year.

Australian Associated Press