As of 29 November 2019, the Australian National Redress Scheme (NRS):
- had received over 5,510 applications
- made 1,096 decisions, including 792 payments totalling over $64.1 million, and 155 offers of redress awaiting an applicant’s decision
- had an average payment amount of $81,000
- was processing over 3,610 applications
- had 591 applications on hold because one or more institution named had not yet joined, and 218 applications required additional information from the applicant.
From 1 July 2019 to 29 November 2019, 563 applications were finalised, resulting in 553 payments.
The rate of processing applications is still at a lower level than would be expected when one compares it with other modern redress scheme.
However the volume of applications being received is also likely at a lower level than anticipated. The Scheme has been open since 1 July 2018 for 10 years and it was forecast that there would be in excess of 65,000 applications in the time that it will remain open.
While the NRS came in for some heavy criticism after it was launched (in April 2019 a bipartisan Commonwealth Joint Select Committee on the oversight of the implementation of redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made 29 widespread recommendations about how the NRS could be changed and improved), now that the NRS has established itself and is making awards of redress there seems to be less cause for complaint.
Sharon Moohan, Partner, BLM