National redress scheme decision imminent & Catholic Church supports convicted priests

Will Australia adopt a national redress scheme to support child sex abuse survivors? We will know by the end of January 2016, has reported.

The Child Abuse Royal Commission recommended last year that a national redress scheme, which is likely to cost about $4.3 billion, be established to support the tens of thousands of institutional child sex abuse victims.

National redress scheme supporters

Source: ABC News

The Catholic Church has signalled that it would support a national scheme, as have the NSW and Victorian governments.

It was also reported earlier this month that the Catholic Church has spent millions of dollars providing pensions, housing, and private health insurance to paedophile priests.
The Age reported that the Melbourne archdiocese alone was still financially supporting six former priests who had been convicted of child sex offences. Four of these priests have been ‘defrocked’.

Church documents tended to the Child Abuse Royal Commission showed that two paedophile priests – Wilfred Baker and David Daniel – had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in entitlements.

This is in stark contrast to the Melbourne Response’s average payments to victims of no more than $37,000.

A church spokesperson told The Age that the church was obligated under canon law to support all former priests, but the help provided to convicted priests was “very low”.

In WA, the newly appointed Children’s Commissioner, Colin Pettit, has pledged to make helping child sex abuse victims a top priority.

Mr Pettit had promised that child abuse victims would be provided with a safe and supportive path to report their stories of abuse, the ABC reported.

Victorian Police appeal to victims of swimming pool assaults

Also this month, Victoria Police have called for any victims of alleged sexual assault at a public swimming pool in the 1970s to come forward.

Police are investigating allegations of child sex abuse at the Eureka Stockade Pool in Ballarat between 1977 and 1980. The male victims were aged eight at the time of the alleged assaults.

Anyone with information about any alleged assaults should contact Victoria Police on 1800 110 007.

About Peter Kelso

I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

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