- The McGowan Government responds to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
- Western Australia signs up to the National Redress Scheme
- Premier makes formal apology in WA Parliament to child sexual abuse victims
- Civil Liability Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse Actions) Act 2018 (WA) to be proclaimed on July 1, 2018
The McGowan Government has today released its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission), and announced it will sign up to the National Redress Scheme.
In addition to this, the Premier will today mark the historic occasion by offering a formal apology in State Parliament to all Western Australian survivors of child sexual abuse.
Attorney General John Quigley also announced that the State Government's Civil Liability Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse Actions) Act 2018 (WA), which removes the limitation periods for civil actions by victims of child sexual abuse, will be proclaimed on July 1, 2018.
The establishment of a National Redress Scheme was a recommendation made by the Royal Commission. Western Australian survivors can make an application to the National Redress Scheme from July 1, 2018.
Of the 409 recommendations put forward by the Royal Commission, 289 have been accepted or accepted in principle, 21 subject to further consideration, and 99 noted as not being applicable to the State Government. There are no recommendations that have not been accepted by the McGowan Government.
The McGowan Government will now work towards the delivery of a staged implementation plan of the recommendations. The plan will outline reform priorities, timeframes and resourcing options.
A copy of the State Government's response to the Royal Commission is available at http://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/childabuseroyalcommission. A transcript of the Premier's apology will also be available after 5pm.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The courage of survivors to share their experiences must be met by all organisations' acknowledgement of past failures.
"Government, non-government and religious organisations need to make a commitment to address previous injustices and implement the significant changes required to protect our children. It cannot be left to Government alone.
"We have worked very hard to come to an agreement with the Commonwealth on the National Redress Scheme, we've now done that with survivors to get compensation as soon as possible."
Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
"We made a commitment to respond to historical sexual abuse that has occurred, prevent further abuse from happening in the future, and ensure a swift response to abuse should it occur again. This commitment still stands.
"The Royal Commission has been challenging and confronting, but it will create significant change. I call on all institutions that work with children to commit to honouring the work of the Royal Commission, ensuring that history does not repeat itself.
"Change will not be instant, but the McGowan Government is committed because the importance of this work is clear: keeping children safe is the highest priority."
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"We have worked very hard and negotiated successfully with the Commonwealth to ensure that the scheme's policies are fair and equitable for all Western Australian survivors of child sexual abuse.
"With WA signing up to the National Redress Scheme, survivors will have the option of going down the path of civil litigation under the Civil Liability Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse Actions) Act 2018 (WA) or, alternatively, under the redress scheme.
"Redress provides Western Australians who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse with an easier, more supportive and less traumatic alternative to pursuing civil litigation through the courts, which can be costly and time consuming.
"The National Redress Scheme will also provide access to free specialist legal support services and financial counselling, making it a much less onerous and traumatic process."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Child Protection Minister's office - 6552 6600
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800