'KICK IN THE GUTS': Govt funds stadiums over survivors
THE State Government has been slammed over its "disgusting" response to a Casino man's calls for NSW's participation in the Common- wealth Redress Scheme for child abuse victims.
Robbie Gambley said the state's inaction on the scheme was a "kick in the guts" for abuse survivors.
Mr Gambley, who was abused by his school science teacher in Bonalbo in the 1970s, recently wrote to Premier Gladys Berejiklian to question her government's $1.6billion investment in Sydney sporting stadiums, while NSW has not opted in to the Commonwealth Redress Scheme.
When Mr Gambley queried this investment and a "lack of support" for abuse survivors, the Premier's Parliamentary Secretary Jonathan O'Dea said the upgrades were an "investment into our vital tourism and events industry", and referred his concerns to State Attorney-General Mark Speakman.
Mr Gambley, who received an apology in a phone call from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last month, said victims still needed compensation to "get on with their lives".
"The Royal Commission recommended the national redress scheme was supposed to be up and running last year," he said.
"We're just asking for fair compensation."
He argued the proposed redress of $150,000 per victim - which will include any previous compensation received and would be delivered in portions over a 10-year period - would also be covered by non-government institutions.
"(The states) don't want to pay the money but they can right this wrong," he said. "An evil was done. If it goes ahead, people that haven't gotten retribution in the past will."
Lismore MP Thomas George said the stadium funding was linked to a "totally different department" and declined to say whether he wanted to see the State Government opt in to the redress scheme.
"I can't commit to (supporting redress) because it's not just the government that's got to address it," Mr George said. "Naturally, you would hope that all this can be addressed because these people need to move on."
A spokesman for the Department of Premier and Cabinet said the government supported the Royal Commission's recommendation for a national redress scheme "as the best way to ensure consistent, accessible justice for survivors, regardless of where the abuse occurred".
"NSW is continuing to work with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to develop a redress scheme that is comprehensive, sustainable and best meets the needs of survivors," he said.
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