Fire damage at the former girls dorm at St Joseph's Home, Neerkol. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Fire damage at the former girls dorm at St Joseph's Home, Neerkol. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK191114aneerkol

CQ victims of 'real-life horror movie' may get $150k compo

MEMBER for Keppel Brittany Lauga has described the Neerkol Orphanage as a "horror movie in real life for the children who lived there” as she endorsed the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sex Abuse Bill 2018.

Speaking in Queensland Parliament this week, Mrs Lauga said she had spoken to many victims of institutional child sex abuse from Rockhampton's orphanage, Neerkol.

"I have personally met with many of these children, now adults, who experienced this horrific abuse at Neerkol and also other who experienced abuse in other institutions,” she said.

Drone footage of the Neerkol Orphanage.
Drone footage of the Neerkol Orphanage. Allan Reinika

"They have told me how important this national redress scheme is to them to acknowledge the harm suffered by them as children which is so important to their healing.”

Payments will range up to $150,000, assessed by the National Scheme Operator on a case by case basis, for victims of institutional child sex abuse, including those at the Neerkol orphanage, taking into account the circumstances in each individual application.

"I extend my gratitude for the immense bravery of all who have shared their stories and those who have supported them through the royal commission,” Ms Lauga said.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga. News Corp

House plan ignites 'fire of hell' inside Neerkol survivor

The Assistant Education Minister has told Parliament the bill was a significant step in addressing, acknowledging and supporting victims of abuse, saying as many as 4,000 children passed through the Neerkol and were subjected to 'horrendous and appalling treatment”.

Mrs Lauga said while the payments didn't compensate for the suffering of the victims, it was an important step towards healing.

"I acknowledge the immense work of the royal commission over the five years of its inquiry,” she said.

Fire damage at the former girls dorm at St Joseph's Home, Neerkol. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Fire damage at the former girls dorm at St Joseph's Home, Neerkol. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK191114aneerkol

"It was the royal commission that revealed the full horror of what went on in the dormitories, the yards, the dining halls and the priests' quarters not so long ago.

"I commend the bill the House of Parliament.”

Approximately 10,000 people who suffered sexual abuse as children in Queensland Government institutions and non-government institutions are expected to seek the redress compensation.

Redress will be provided to eligible applicants in three ways; monetary payment; access to counselling and psychological care; and the option to receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible for providing the redress.

Redress Scheme factbox:

. Approximately 10,000 people who suffered sexual abuse as children in institutions are expected to seek redress after the passage of landmark legislation in the Queensland Parliament this week.

. The passing of this Bill now means approximately 5000 people who suffered abuse in Queensland Government institutions, and an estimated 5000 who were abused in non-government institutions, will be able to seek redress through the national scheme.

. The Palaszczuk Government announced in April it would contribute $500 million to support its participation in the National Redress Scheme ahead of the introduction of the legislation.

. While some Queensland non-government institutions have already committed to opt in to the scheme, now is the time for those who have not committed to the scheme to do the right thing.

. People who received redress under the Queensland Redress Scheme will still be eligible to apply for redress under the National Scheme.

. The Queensland Government's participation in the Scheme is expected to commence by late 2018.

. Redress will be provided to eligible applicants through three ways: a monetary payment; access to counselling and psychological care; and the option to receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible for providing the redress.

. Payments will range up to $150,000, assessed by the National Scheme Operator on a case by case basis, taking into account the circumstances in each individual application.

. For more on National Redress: 1800 737 377 or www.nationalredress.gov.au/



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