Assistance to victims of overseas terrorism
Since September 2001, hundreds of Australian families have been impacted by major terrorist events in New York, Bali, Jakarta, London, Egypt, Mumbai and Nairobi.
We should stand with victims of terrorism in the same way that we stand with the victims of crimes committed in Australia.
They were targeted because they were citizens of a country where people are free to choose their own way of life. They suffered because they are Australian.
In 2012, when the previous Government agreed to my proposal to provide financial assistance to victims of terrorism, it only did so for future victims and not existing victims. The new Government has now rectified this anomaly.
Some of the victims of terrorism have been bereaved. Others have lost their sight, their hearing, their jobs and the expectation of a comfortable retirement.
The victims of terrorism still face obstacles – both physical and emotional.
I recognise that compensation of up to $75,000 is not a lavish amount. Nevertheless, it is an important acknowledgement of the pain and suffering that these victims of terrorism have suffered.
Applying the scheme to these past events will benefit about 300 individuals and families and will cost about $30 million. Payments under the scheme will not replace existing support and benefits available to victims.
The Department of Human Services will administer this payment and will set up a system to receive applications from claimants.
Claims can be made from 21 October 2013.
More information is available through the Department of Human Services on 1800 040 226, or at www.humanservices.gov.au.
9 October 2013