Churches, charities will be 'judged harshly' if they don't join redress scheme: Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hailed NSW and Victoria for signing the redress scheme.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hailed NSW and Victoria for signing the redress scheme.

Malcolm Turnbull wants institutions and charities to be shamed if they refuse to join the national redress scheme for child sex abuse survivors.

Thousands of survivors are set to gain access to compensation after Victoria and NSW signed on to the federal government's $3.8 billion scheme.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged other states, churches and charities to follow NSW and Victoria's lead or be judged very harshly.

"If a church or a charity or institution doesn't sign up, I hope they will be shamed and we will be using the megaphones we have to encourage them to sign up," Mr Turnbull said on Friday.

"If they don't they will fail the test of justice and they will fail the people they seek to represent."

But Queensland and Western Australia, which like South Australia have run their own redress schemes, say they cannot sign up yet because they have not been given enough information.

A Queensland government spokesman said it was disappointing there were still so many unresolved critical issues, including eligibility criteria and ensuring key elements cannot be changed unilaterally without agreement of participating states and territories.

"Without these details it would be irresponsible for the government to decide whether to opt in to the scheme," he said.

A WA government spokesperson also criticised the federal government for failing to provide adequate information to allow the state to opt in, despite requests for critical details.

"We are disappointed that the Commonwealth is dragging its feet on this issue.

Federal MP Dan Tehan has applauded NSW and Vic for signing up to the child sex abuse redress scheme.

Federal MP Dan Tehan has applauded NSW and Vic for signing up to the child sex abuse redress scheme.

"Until the Commonwealth provides the information WA has requested cabinet is unable to properly consider our options."

During its election campaign, South Australia backed away from its firm opposition to reach an in-principle agreement to join a national scheme.

Premier Jay Weatherill said there were still issues to be worked through but he was confident an agreement would be reached.

Mr Turnbull, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, victims' advocates and the Catholic Church urged other states and all institutions to sign up.

"There are no more excuses for any church, any charity or frankly any other government in this nation to not sign on to this proper, fair and balanced national redress scheme," Mr Andrews said.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said having the two largest states on board was a giant step.

"I would be very surprised if we don't get the non-government institutions on board," he said.

Despite widespread criticism, the $150,000 maximum compensation payment under the national scheme will not be raised to the $200,000 cap recommended by the child abuse royal commission.

Sex offenders or anyone jailed for five years or more for serious crimes also remain blocked from redress under the scheme, which begins on July 1.

Mr Turnbull defended the cap and criminal exclusion, saying they were necessary to maximise participation in the scheme.

"Let's get everybody on board, everybody signed up and then we can proceed and deliver the justice that these survivors are entitled to and which justice and morality demands," he said.

Australian Associated Press