The NSW Government response to the Royal Commission’s final report
The Royal Commission handed down its final report in December 2017. The final report contains 409 recommendations across a wide range of policy areas.
The Royal Commission's recommendations aim to:
- prevent abuse or, at the very least, identify it as early as possible
- improve the way perpetrators are investigated, prosecuted and sentenced
- improve survivors’ access to justice and ongoing support.
The NSW Government responded to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The NSW Government has accepted the overwhelming majority of recommendations made by the Royal Commission and will now focus on working with government and non-government organisations to ensure action is taken to keep children safe.
What are the key reforms?
On 9 March 2018, the NSW Government announced it will opt-in to the National Redress Scheme. NSW and Victoria were the first states to commit to the Redress Scheme. NSW was the first state to pass legislation for the National Redress Scheme.
The NSW Government announced reforms to civil litigation law to make it easier for survivors to sue institutions responsible for child abuse.
The NSW Government has introduced extensive criminal law reforms to ensure survivors can find justice and perpetrators of abuse are held to account. This includes sentences that reflect community understanding of child sexual abuse and the harm it causes.
The NSW Government has accepted Child Safe Standards, strengthened protections for mandatory reporters and committed to reporting annually to the NSW Parliament.
The NSW Government has worked closely with the Australian Government and other states and territories to identify the following national priorities:
- making institutions child safe
- improving cross-border information sharing about children’s welfare
- preventing and responding to children with harmful sexual behaviours
- reporting annually on progress.
National Redress Scheme
NSW was the first state to pass legislation referring powers to the Commonwealth to establish the National Redress Scheme.
The Redress Scheme seeks to acknowledge the life-long impact of institutional child sexual abuse by providing eligible survivors with:
- a redress payment of up to $150,000
- access to counselling services
- a direct, personal response from the responsible institution.
The Redress Scheme will ensure that redress is provided to survivors in a consistent way, no matter where they live in Australia.
The Redress Scheme will provide an alternative to pursuing a claim through civil litigation.
The Redress Scheme is due to commence on 1 July 2018.
Applications will be managed by the Australian Government.
Read more about the Redress Scheme on the Australian Government's Department of Social Services website or call the National Redress Information Line on 1800 146 713.
Where can you get help?
The NSW Government encourages survivors of child sexual or physical assault to access confidential counselling that is available through the Victims Support Scheme.
Other support services that operate 24/7 include:
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Victims Access Line – 1800 633 063
- Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) Helpline – 1800 472676
- Child Protection Helpline – 132 111