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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3638

Mr TEHAN (WannonMinister for Social Services) (09:56): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This is a companion bill to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018 (the national bill), which will establish a redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

This companion bill provides consequential amendments to Commonwealth legislation in light of the scheme. For example, amendments to the Social Security Act 1991 and Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 will ensure the payments are not income tested and will not reduce the income support payments of survivors who receive payments under the scheme.

Amendments to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 will also ensure that the payments are quarantined from the divisible property of a bankrupt. This ensures that survivors can fully benefit from redress payments provided under the scheme regardless of their circumstances.

It also ensures that redress payments will be exempt from Commonwealth debt recovery and income tests relevant to other government payments.

This companion bill will also remove external review mechanisms under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977. These amendments will ensure the scheme remains survivor focused and trauma informed by being a non-legalistic process for survivors who have already suffered so much.

This companion bill will also allow the scheme to access the social security system information for ease of administration and make protected information exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 1982, ensuring the integrity of the scheme and that that privacy of survivors and institutions is protected.

In addition, this companion bill will exempt the national bill from the Age Discrimination Act 2004, which will allow the scheme to prevent children from applying if they do not turn 18 before the scheme's closure. This is to address the risk of children signing away their future civil rights when they may have limited capacity to understand the implications and to reduce the risk of monetary payments to minors being misused.

Debate adjourned.