‘Commitment to social change’: ADF pays out $2.8m in redress
MORE than $2.8 million in National Redress Scheme payments have been made to victims of abuse inflicted under the care of the Australian Defence Force.
Terminally ill abuse survivor, Goonellabah man Vernon Wilson, hopes to be added to that figure before it's too late.
Page MP Kevin Hogan recently confirmed he would lobby Family and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston for Mr Wilson's redress application to be fast tracked.
Mr Wilson has been waiting nine months to have his application processed and has voiced concerns about delays in the redress process.
In a statement, an ADF spokeswoman said redress decisions were made by independent decision makers and, like other institutions, they had no engagement in that process.
But she confirmed there had been $2.832 million paid by Defence to acknowledge abuse.
Defence has responded to 199 requests for information since it joined the redress scheme at its inception in July 2018.
"Defence is required to meet timelines for providing information to the Scheme and generally meets or exceeds those requirements," she said.
"Defence was an early participant in the National Redress Scheme," she said,
"Defence also conducts Direct Personal Responses with those people who experienced abuse and wish to participate. This restorative process involves a senior Defence representative listening one-on-one to the survivors account of abuse and apologising for what they suffered.
"Ensuring the people who have experienced abuse are heard is critical to maintaining Defence's commitment to cultural change."
The Department of Social Services is prohibited by law from discussing the progress of Mr Wilson's application.
The legal firm handling his claim, Shine Lawyers, has also been lobbying on his behalf.