Councillors approve 'important' motion
The City of Mandurah has voted to join the National Redress Scheme, which was established in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Scheme was one of more than 400 recommendations in the Royal Commission's final report in 2015.
It was set up to recognise the harm suffered by survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, provide support for those people and hold the institutions to account.
People who have experienced such abuse can access counselling, a personal apology and a redress payment of up to $150,000 through the Scheme.
By joining the Scheme as a local government, any claims made involving services operated or contracted by the City of Mandurah would be paid for by the state government.
The only possible financial cost would be a payment of a direct personal response, or an apology, based on a standard service fee of $3,000.
Councillors officially endorsed Mandurah's participation in the Scheme as a state government institution, as recommended by city officers, at a meeting on May 26.
The motion was met with unanimous support from councillors, including Peter Jackson who moved the recommendation.
"I can't see how we could say no to this to be honest," he said.
"The National Redress Scheme is a key recommendation of the Royal Commission to recognise the harm suffered by survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
"I shudder to think there is anything we could discover, but I think we need to be open and fully embrace it."
In an interview with the Mandurah Mail, Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said joining the National Redress Scheme was an "important step forward".
"I think the Royal Commission has been a milestone for Australia and a real line in the sand," he said.
"I'm really pleased that the City of Mandurah can join other local governments and state governments to ensure that the sorts of atrocities that have happened in the past, never happen again.
"I think it's easy just to move through these sorts of things as administrative decisions but I think [this] should serve as a moment of reflection.
"It is important that the survivors of institutional child abuse have received the apology and the appropriate support that they deserve.
"We should never, ever be complacent about those that are vulnerable in our community and those that have been impacted by these sorts of atrocities."
If you need support, contact the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.