Tasmanian Liberals indifferent to child sex abuse survivors, Lisa Singh says

The Hodgman Government has been accused of being indifferent to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

Lisa Singh. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

Lisa Singh. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

Tasmanian Labor Senator Lisa Singh said Premier Will Hodgman must show support for a national redress scheme for the survivors.

She said the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee heard “distressing evidence”  in Melbourne about the government refusing to engage with stakeholders about the national scheme.

“The Tasmanian government’s indifference to the valid concerns of institutional abuse survivors is extremely disappointing,” Senator Singh said.

“Mr Hodgman’s snubbing of abuse survivors compounds his government’s refusal to pass legislation removing the three-year statute of limitation after abuse is discovered for victims of historic child abuse to launch court action.

“Every other state in Australia has now gotten rid of the statute of limitation except Tasmania.”

She said Labor strongly encouraged all states, territories and institutions to sign up to a national redress scheme as soon as possible.

She said the committee would make recommendations about deficiencies in the Turnbull Government’s scheme.

Tasmanian Justice Minister Elise Archer said it was “shameful that Senator Singh would try and score political points over an issue as sensitive and serious as this”.

“The Liberal government has actively and constructively engaged in the negotiations around a national redress scheme for victims of childhood sexual abuse.”

She said departmental officers had continued the discussions during the election caretaker period.

“Unlike Victoria and New South Wales, Tasmania has run its own scheme previously, which adds an additional layer of complexity that needs to be accounted for to ensure we get the best outcome for Tasmanian victims,” Ms Archer said. 

“It speaks volumes that Senator Singh is claiming the scheme is deficient while at the same time saying Tasmania should stop negotiations and sign up immediately. “

Ms Archer said the state government had passed legislation to remove the statute of limitations for child abuse survivors.

She said the start date was linked to the discussions with the Commonwealth about the national redress scheme.

This story Tasmanian Liberals indifferent to child sex abuse survivors, Lisa Singh says first appeared on The Advocate.