Child sexual abuse apology not the end

The aftermath of the Wentworth by-election may have obscured a powerful and emotional moment in our history when the Australian Parliament said sorry on behalf of the nation to all those who suffered from the tragic history of institutional child
sexual abuse.

It was a very special, powerful and wonderful moment.

However, it can never heal the scars inflicted on all those young children and teens that were so outrageously abused.

Some never got to see this day.

The apology is also not the end of the matter for this is unfinished business and we must be diligent in ensuring the national redress scheme functions with decency, fairness and justice. Its full course is yet to be charted and there are still many ways that scheme
can be improved.

Many institutions are still yet to sign up and already as revealed in Senate estimates recently there are claims that staff engaged in administering the redress scheme “didn’t have the appropriate skills to deal with individuals who had been traumatised”.

As my colleague Linda Burney said; “The National Apology marks not the end, but the
beginning of the process for delivering restitution and support for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Survivors have been through so much and have waited so long. It is absolutely imperative that we get the rollout of National Redress Scheme right.”

Nor should any of us forget what has happened and the damage done.

As a community we must remain vigilant to make sure these things never, ever happen again.

Remember this redress scheme does not respond to all victims who were abused in institutional care…the real unfinished business is to ensure all victims are recognised and abuse is not just sexual.

Claire Moore MP, Senator for Queensland

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Lets get kids off Nauru

Kids off NauruDuring the Wentworth by-election the Prime Minister indicated he was willing to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees if Labor supported the Government’s “lifetime ban” legislation, formally known as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016.

The Morrison legislation in its current form is a ridiculous overreach. It would ban anyone anywhere in the world who had sought refuge in Australia by boat from ever visiting Australia in the future, even as a tourist, or for business purposes that might be in Australia’s economic interests.

If the Coalition Government was able to negotiate arrangements with the United States to facilitate the refugee transfer agreement, it should be able to negotiate similar and appropriate conditions with New Zealand.

There is no doubt that the horrific situation involving children on Nauru can no longer be ignored. Action must be taken to resolve this festering issue. It is in this spirit that Labor is seeking to resolve this impasse and put the health and well being of vulnerable children ahead of other political considerations.

Labor is willing to consider passing the “lifetime ban” legislation if the Government agrees to the following:
• Guaranteed acceptance of New Zealand’s offer and the removal of all children and their families from Nauru to New Zealand;
• Ensuring that any lifetime ban is only applicable to the cohort of people seeking asylum transferred to New Zealand; and
• Limiting the legislation’s application to the Special Category Visa (subclass 444), which enables open travel of New Zealand citizens into Australia.

I want this legislation to move through the Senate as soon as possible, thus allowing the transfer of sick and vulnerable children and their families from Nauru to New Zealand.Copy of Claire Moore MP, Senator for Queensland