The Anglican Church in Tasmania has sold seven of its 73 properties ear-marked for sale to help fund redress for survivors of sexual abuse.
The church has announced it will broaden its redress including doubling the cap on payments to $150,000 and including a payment for counselling, assessed on the ongoing impact of the sexual abuse.
It will also offer a separate payment, capped at $2,500, for legal expenses.
The redress is expected to cost the church about $8 million.
Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend Dr Richard Condie, said he did not expect a significant increase in funds would be needed to meet the church's redress obligations.
"Our initial financial modelling was based on the Royal Commission's recommendations, which are more generous than the National Redress Scheme" he said.
"We anticipated people going directly to the National Redress Scheme to seek redress and now they have a choice.
"The model we have adopted is a more formal and survivor-focused assessment matrix, modelled on the matrix proposed by the Royal Commission.
"In contrast to the National Redress Scheme, we will accept applications from people who were non-Australian citizens, have a criminal conviction or who were abused as adults."
Bishop Condie said funding the redress obligations "remains the key driver for the sale of church property".
"The Anglican Diocese of Tasmania is committed to redress for survivors of sexual abuse. Redress provides a measure of restorative justice to survivors, as well as recognition and support."
"The sale of properties will be undertaken in a strategic and staged process over the next two to three years taking into account the input we received through the consultation process."
Survivor and Beyond Abuse founder Steve Fisher hailed the church's decision to increase the payments and paid tribute to Bishop Condie.
"He has set a precedent for other institutions to follow because this is an Australian, if not world first," Mr Fisher
"This is incredible and Bishop Condie should be admired.
"Most victims can't afford to take action because of the financial and psychological costs and I would recommend this scheme rather than the government's redress scheme because if offers more counselling and support.
"I'm proud to be a Tasmanian for this."
Save Our Community Soul chair David Downie said he believed some properties had been sold but the church was prepared to consult.
"The diocese has slowed the process which has allowed more time to consult," Mr Downie said.
"We know they can't keep every church but if people put up a good for saving a church they will be listened to."
Property Sale Update
Of the 73 properties remaining on the final list of properties for sale after the Diocesan Council meeting of 1 December, 66 properties remain with seven sold.
Six were sold prior to December 1 as they were already in the sales process pre-redress:
Vacant Land, Lot 785 Briggs Road, Gagebrook
Vacant Land, Lot 786 Briggs Road, Gagebrook
St John the Baptist, 36 Scott St, Branxholm
St Luke's Church, 1282 Glen Huon Rd, Judbury
Vacant Land, 2 Arthur Street, Avoca
St Anne's Church, 27 Ashbolt Cres, Lutana
One property, St Mary's Hall, 3548 Lyell Hwy, Gretna has been sold.
Another property - 9 Coolabah Rd, Sandy Bay - is currently on the open market and under contract.
Properties entering the market are as follows:
15 Berean St, East Launceston 113 Beach Rd, Margate
15 Berean St, East Launceston
10 Ryans Rd, Spring Beach
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