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Commission chair's redress scheme appeal

AAP logoAAP 7/03/2017 Rebekah Ison

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State, territory and Commonwealth bureaucrats have been urged to work towards a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

Chair of the child abuse royal commission Justice Peter McClellan said a national scheme was fundamental to acknowledge suffering and ensure ongoing care of victims.

"We have now spoken to thousands of people, many of whom have suffered terribly because of their abuse," he said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

"You can't leave a discussion with them but with an understanding that a redress scheme of the type we've recommended is of fundamental importance."

The federal government last year announced a national scheme would be up and running by 2018.

But no state or territory has yet opted in, with South Australia saying it will not contribute funds.

The abuse royal commission chair Justice Peter McClellan has asked government representatives to work towards a national redress scheme that could be implemented as soon as possible © AAP Image/Royal Commission The abuse royal commission chair Justice Peter McClellan has asked government representatives to work towards a national redress scheme that could be implemented as soon as possible Senior bureaucrats from all states and territories told the royal commission there was much detail to clarify before final decisions could be made.

"On behalf the Commissioners, can I commend all of you to apply yourselves as assiduously as you can... to ensure that an appropriate redress scheme is able to be implemented at the earliest opportunity," Justice McClellan said.

A four-day hearing is in part investigating how governments have so far responded to the royal commission's work.

It heard hundreds of referrals had been made to law enforcement authorities following closed-door sessions with victims of abuse in government institutions.

Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC said 35 per cent of people who had attended a private session as of December 31 had been abused in an institution managed by a state, territory or Commonwealth government.

Justice McClellan's appeal received applause from the public gallery.

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