Submission: Inquiry into Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

Meredith Doig / 23 May 2020

Committee Secretariat

Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

By email: redress@aph.gov.au


23 May 2020


Dear Committee,

The Rationalist Society is Australia’s oldest freethought group, promoting the use of evidence and reason in public policy since 1906. The RSA bases its policies on universal human values, shared by most religious and non-religious people. We support the democratic ideals of equality before the law, civil rights and the dignified and humane treatment of human beings. Children, in particular, should be protected, nurtured and valued in our society.

The National Redress Scheme is a vitally important initiative to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, financially and emotionally. But it is also important for the nation, to recognise how we failed these children and to make amends. No institution named in the Royal Commission should be allowed to avoid participating in the Redress Scheme. 

We note many institutions have already signed up and some have committed to sign up before the 30 June deadline. But some remain recalcitrant and have never indicated an intention to join the Scheme. The Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to be particularly stubborn.

We think these institutions have had enough time to get their affairs in order so that they can join the Scheme, as required. It would appear merely asking them has not been compelling enough. 

We therefore recommend that any eligible institution refusing to join the Scheme by 30 June 2020 should be:

  1. Disqualified from tax exemptions otherwise available to charities under federal, state or territory laws
  2. Disqualified from tendering for federal, state or territory government contracts and from receiving any federal, state or territory government grants
  3. Subject to a financial penalty of 150% of the amount they would otherwise contribute to the National Redress Scheme.


Dr Meredith Doig, President

email: president@rationalist.com.au

PO Box 1312, Hawksburn 3142.

All the more reason.