Resumed from 20 November. The Deputy Chair of Committees (Hon Matthew Swinbourn) in the chair; Hon Sue Ellery (Leader of the House) in charge of the bill.

[Speeches and comments from various members]

Hon ALISON XAMON: I rise to seek clarification about the status of applications for redress. In particular, I am aware that some people may want to make an application for redress even if they do not ultimately want to accept the payment for redress because they may just want to access the counselling support, an apology or legal assistance. As a result, they may choose to put in a fairly cursory application for redress in the first instance on the basis that they intend to reject whatever payment is made available to them. My question is about the status of that submission. Will a cursory submission that has been deliberately submitted be able to be used as evidence against the authenticity of the claim should the person involved wish to either pursue civil proceedings or go down the criminal injuries compensation path? I am concerned to ensure that an inconsequential application is not able to be used at a later date as evidence to demonstrate that someone’s claim is perhaps not fulsome if it has not been comprehensive.

Hon SUE ELLERY: I am not sure whether the honourable member has in front of her the commonwealth National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018—I will start at the beginning. The process by which a person makes an application and how the operator responds to that application is set out in division 4, section 29 of that act. It sets out that the operator must make a determination on the application and they must consider that there is a reasonable likelihood that the person is eligible for redress. Then they must approve the application, determine each participating institution and determine the amount et cetera. In order to meet those threshold questions in the first place, the operator needs to make a judgement that there is a reasonable likelihood that the person is eligible for redress. There has to be enough information in the application for the operator to make that judgement. I cannot tell the member that there is a prescribed amount of information, but there has to be enough information. I will provide the member with the full answer to the question—that is where it starts. There needs to be enough information that the operator can consider that there is a reasonable likelihood that the person is eligible for redress. There is no prescription on the extent of information, the operator just has to make areasonable likelihood decision. The substance of the member’s question is: if that application is not comprehensive enough, can that then be used against that applicant in consideration of a criminal injuries compensation application? The answer to that is no. Regarding civil litigation, there is a specific provision in the national redress act at division 6, section 36 which says —

(1) A determination by the Operator under section 29—

Which I referred to earlier —

has effect only for the purposes of the scheme.

It limits the use of that information for the purpose of the scheme.

Hon ALISON XAMON: I understand that in making an application through the redress scheme, if a survivor has previously written down their story comprehensively for other purposes, such as maybe for the Redress WA scheme, perhaps other actions, previous CIC claims or whatever, that rather than going through the trauma of having to rewrite their entire story, they would be able to simply make reference to those previous documents and that would be deemed to be sufficient or deemed to be eligible. Can I confirm that my understanding is correct?

Hon SUE ELLERY: They need to complete a form that identifies them, and then they can attach to that any information that they want to rely on, including whether they had made a statement to the royal commission itself,  police, an application to Redress WA, or whatever documentation they already have that goes to the nature of the abuse that they are claiming against.

[Speeches and comments from various members]

Progress reported and leave granted to sit again, pursuant to standing orders.



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