Senator Dean Smith, Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme, has met with representatives of the Old Fairbridgians Association of WA to confirm new initiatives being undertaken to reverse compensation delays faced by survivors of child sexual abuse while in the care of Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School in Pinjarra, Western Australia.
Senator Smith was able to confirm:
Firstly, that Fairbridge (Restored) Limited and The Prince’s Trust would be called to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee overseeing the National Redress Scheme to publicly explain their failure to sign up to the Scheme by the 30 June, 2020 deadline.
Secondly, he had formally written to WA Premier Mark McGowan (letter attached), seeking his full cooperation on this matter and for an undertaking that, if Fairbridge (Restored) Limited or The Prince’s Trust were found to be a ‘defunct organisation’*, the WA Government would not delay invoking the ‘Funder of Last Resort’^ provisions in the National Redress Scheme to provide redress to survivors.
And, finally, that senior officials from the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Home Affairs had begun convening to resolve the Fairbridge matter as quickly as possible.
Senator Smith used his meeting with the OFA to again reassure survivors that he will fight to ensure justice is delivered to those who deserve it as quickly and painlessly as possible, noting the tragic reality that for many survivors it is already too late.
*An institution which no longer exists. It can be either a government or a non-government institution.
^Where it is determined that a Commonwealth, state or territory government institution is equally responsible for the child sexual abuse of a person with a defunct non-government institution, and pays the defunct institution’s share of redress. The Commonwealth, state or territory government must agree that it will be a funder of last resort for a defunct non-government institution before any payment for redress is made to a person.