THE Anglican Church of Australia has given an in-principle agreement to joining a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
All Australian states and territories, except Western Australia, have agreed to join the scheme, which will be established by legislation that is currently before the Australian Federal Parliament.
The Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, Scouts Australia, and YMCA Australia have also agreed to join the scheme; so it will now cover an estimated 80 per cent of survivors.
The scheme — one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse — will provide up to $150,000, and counselling, for individual survivors.
Meanwhile, the synod of the diocese of Tasmania has overwhelmingly approved a plan to sell 108 properties, including 76 churches, in part to fund its contribution to the redress scheme, estimated to be about $8 million (News, 27 April).
About one quarter of the sale proceeds will be directed to the redress scheme; the remainder will be directed to ministry projects.
There are an estimated 200 survivors of Anglican abuse in Tasmania.
Parishes with property listed for sale have until 1 September to appeal; final decisions will be made in December.
The Bishop of Tasmania, Dr Richard Condie, has said that he was “overwhelmingly sad” that the diocese had to sell the properties “because of the evil people who were in our Church”.