Maddens Principal calls on new PM to take the lead with recommendations

Recommendations to establish a redress scheme for victims of church and institutional sex abuse have been welcomed by a South West Victorian compensation lawyer, who has today called on the nation’s new Prime Minister to take a lead on the issue.

Maddens Lawyers Principal Gary Foster, who has been contacted by hundreds of abuse victims since the Royal Commission was announced nearly three years ago, has long advocated for a victim’s redress scheme, explaining that it would provide a straight forward means of compensation for deserving victims.

Recommendations arising from the Royal Commission released this week, include the establishment of a redress scheme, as well as a minimum payment of $10,000.00 in proven claims, and a maximum payment of $200,000.00 for the most severe abuse claims.

Mr Foster explained the average claim was anticipated to be in the vicinity of $65,000.00.

“This provides a simpler, more common sense method of compensation when compared with costly litigation through the civil courts.” Mr Foster has hundreds of people registered to make a claim under such a scheme, many of whom are located in the South West region.

Whilst he noted that the Royal Commission also made recommendations to make civil litigation easier, he felt that in most cases a redress scheme has the potential to avoid much of the further trauma associated with pursuing litigation through the Courts.

“The proposed redress scheme also provides for the provision of ongoing counselling and psychological treatment – this is an essential element of any such scheme,” he said.

Mr Foster called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to lead from the front on the issue by not only committing the Federal Government to its implementation, but also using his skills to “bring along” affected institutions and State Governments with him.

“This is an ideal issue at an opportune time for Mr Turnbull to show what his leadership is made of” Mr Foster said.

The Royal Commission recommended that any redress scheme be operational by no later than 1 July 2017.