Over 50 percent of Mullighan Inquiry victims reject government offer

John Rau speaks with Matthew Abraham about the Mullighan Inquiry progressionOver 50 percent of Mullighan Inquiry victims reject government offer

Over half of the victims of abuse whilst under state care identified in the Mullighan Inquiry have refused to lodge claims for ex gratia payments and will seek private settlements from the State Government.

Deputy Premier and Attorney General John Rau told 891 Breakfast this morning that over 100 victims of alleged sexual abuse whilst in state care have rejected the Government's ex gratia payment offer and will launch common law action.

Mr Rau told Matthew Abraham and David Bevan that there appeared to be a 'misapprehension' that all victims would receive $50,000 in compensation from the State Government.

A statement that victims believed was made to them in an address made by Premier Mike Rann.

"Sometimes people hear things differently than was intended," Mr Rau commented over the confusion.

Currently 76 applications have been lodged from victims of abuse, with 20 ex gratia applications approved and offers made, nine offers have been accepted and six claims have been paid.

Mr Rau said the Crown would process the remaining claims without delay.

"The Crown is a model litigant," Mr Rau said.

"You play everything with a straight bat, that doesn't mean you are a soft touch, it doesn't mean that you will roll over when somebody doesn't even have a legitimate claim ... but it does mean that you don't play games with people."

Mr Rau said it was a priority that the State Government processed all of the Mullighan Inquiry claims as quickly as possible.

The Mullighan Inquiry was enacted in 2004 by the Parliament of South Australia to investigate allegations of abuse of children in state care.

Commissioner Mullighan presented the report to the government of the Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry and Children on the APY Lands Commission of Inquiry on 31 March 2008 and 30 April 2008.Deputy Premier and Attorney General John Rau discusses the Mullighan Inquiry payments progress

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