Elderly sexual abuse survivors promised payouts
Elderly survivors of institutional child sexual abuse are being promised fast-tracked payments under a national redress scheme.
With hundreds of organisations dragging their feet signing onto the scheme, the federal opposition is calling on the Morrison government to make advance payments to ill and elderly survivors so they do not miss out.
"I can assure older Australians or more vulnerable Australians who are currently going through the redress process that we have absolutely prioritised your claims," Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told the ABC.
More than 300 organisations have still not signed up to the scheme for 60,000 survivors of child sexual abuse.
They face potential financial penalties, changes to their charitable status and public shaming if they do not join by June 30.
More than 6600 survivors have lodged applications for redress over the past two years and almost 1600 payments have been made.
The opposition believes hundreds of applications have been put on hold because some religious and sporting organisations have failed to join the scheme.
Labor's social services spokeswoman Linda Burney described the government's handling of the redress scheme as "nothing short of shameful".
Ms Burney is urging the government to establish an advance payment scheme, publicly name all institutions who have not signed up, and make future federal funding for institutions contingent on their participation.
She also wants the government to speed up the decision-making process and lift the cap on payments to $200,000.
"Survivors have waited long enough. Some are dying waiting. It's time for institutions to do the right thing and sign up to the scheme. And it's time for the Morrison government to ensure they do so," Ms Burney said.