Participation of Local Governments in the National Redress Scheme

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) was established in January 2013, to investigate systemic failures of public and private institutions to protect children from child sexual abuse, report abuse, and respond to child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission released three reports throughout the inquiry including Redress and Civil Litigation (September 2015), making specific recommendations regarding the establishment of a single National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) to recognise the harm suffered by survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

The State Government commenced participating in the Scheme from 1 January 2019. A decision was made at the time of joining the Scheme to exclude WA Local Governments from the State Government’s declaration. This was to allow consultation to occur with Local Governments about the Scheme, and for consideration to be given to the mechanisms by which the sector could best participate in the Scheme.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) has led an information and consultation process with WA Local Governments about the Scheme since January 2019. The Departments of Justice and Premier and Cabinet supported DLGSC in this process. WALGA has played an integral role in this consultation, ensuring that the sector has been well informed and quality feedback gathered to assist State Government decisions.

At the July 2019 WALGA State Council it was endorsed that WA Local Government participation in the State’s National Redress Scheme declaration should be completely financially covered by the State Government.

Following consultation and the feedback gathered, the State Government considered a range of options regarding WA Local Government participation in the Scheme and reached a final position in December 2019. The State Government resolved to:
  • note the consultations undertaken to date with WA Local Governments about the National Redress Scheme
  • note the options for WA Local Governments participation in the Scheme
  • agree to WA Local Governments participating in the Scheme as State Government institutions, with the State Government covering payments to the survivor, and
  • agree to the DLGSC leading further negotiations with WA Local Governments regarding Local Government funding costs, other than payments to the survivor including counselling, legal and administrative costs.
An Information Paper from the DLGSC dated 3 February 2020 summarising the National Redress Scheme is available here.

WALGA Webinar - February 2020

WALGA and the DLGSC hosted a webinar for Local Governments on the National Redress Scheme. The webinar can be accessed here.