Child rape scandal in elder care spreads to Uniting Church

The United Church, like the Anglican Church, has been using its taxpayer-funded elder care arm to pay millions of dollars to its victims of child sexual abuse.

*CONTENT WARNING: This article is about sexual abuse

UnitingCare Queensland, the state’s largest care provider for the elderly, has diverted $7.6 million to child rape victims from the church in the past three years.

The latest revelations follow the klaxon On Sunday he exposed that the Anglican Church had transferred $39.25 million in child rape liabilities to its taxpayer-funded elder care arm, and while Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese used the budget response speech last night to introduce care for the elderly as a key election issue.

Despite the seriousness of the issues, neither the Federal Government nor the ALP will say whether they will ban the practice of taxpayers’ elder care funds being used to pay for the church’s child rape liabilities.

A report by the Center for International Corporate Tax Responsibility and Research (CICTAR) found that United Church taxpayer-funded Uniting Care Queensland spent $3 million in 2021 and $2.3 million in 2020, paying for child sex abuse liabilities. of the church.

there was a ‘large number of payments’ from UnitingCare Queensland to the United Church, ‘including $3 million in 2021 and $2.3 million in 2020 for “Reparations and Sensitive Matters Contribution”, or $5.3 million over the two yearssays the CICTAR report.

Furthermore, it says:

“There is a worrying lack of transparency in the financial flows between this heavily government-subsidized non-profit organization and the church entities that control it.

There appear to be no restrictions on the use of federal aged care funds or other public funds to reach settlements with victims of child sexual abuse within the United Church in Australia.’

the Horn has established that UnitingCare Queensland also paid the Uniting Church a “reparation contribution” in 2018-19, totaling $2.305 million, bringing those child rape payments to the church to $7.6 million in just three years.

UnitingCare Queensland operates the leading Blue Care aged care group and is Queensland’s largest aged care operator.

Anglicare Sydney, run by the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Sydney, is also one of the largest operators in the country, with 23 nursing homes and 22 retirement villages in and around Sydney.

As revealed on Sunday, the Anglican Church has charged Anglicare Sydney with $39.25 million of its child rape liabilities.

Over the last four years, Anglicare Sydney has spent at least $7.25 million paying claims to child rape victims from the Anglican Church.

The church’s liabilities include payments to former residents of Boy Charlton Homes in Sydney, where hundreds of young men were severely abused over many decades, with some dying from the injuries inflicted.

The main source of funding for both UnitingCare Queensland and Anglicare Sydney, both called “not for profit”, is hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds they receive each year, supposedly to provide care for older people.

Uniting Church Queensland and UnitingCare Queensland declined to respond to requests for comment from him. the Horn during the last two days.

The Chairman of UnitingCare Queensland, who is responsible for where the group spends its money and for signing its annual accounts, is Nigel Alexander, Chartered Accountant.

The United Church is made up of “Synods” in different states and territories, many of which operate taxpayer-funded “UnitingCare” branches that provide senior care and “community services.”

Payments of $7.6 million over the last three years were from taxpayer-funded UnitingCare Queensland to the “United Church in Australia – Queensland Synod”.

Anglican Church uses aged care funds to cover child abuse bill

Child rape payments from UnitingCare Queensland and Anglicare Sydney are under the Federal Government’s National Redress Scheme, implemented in response to the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The CICTAR report establishes:

“While public perceptions of the aged care sector have changed and the Royal Commission further exposed structural problems, there has been no substantial increase in accountability for public funds, only an insufficient increase and often misdirected.”

Furthermore, the report says:

‘The Government has failed the industry, residents and workers, and largely ignored most of the Royal Commission’s recommendations (on Quality and Safety in Aged Care)’.

Despite paying $7.25 million in child abuse liabilities from the church, and absorbing associated liabilities totaling $39.25 million, Anglicare Sydney has publicly claimed that it is in a “dire” financial situation, blaming lack of government funds.

The Anglican Church’s Sydney Diocese is the largest, one of the wealthiest and considered the most “conservative” of Australia’s 23 Anglican dioceses, spending $1 million on the unsuccessful “No” campaign against intermarriage in the same sex.

The Anglican Church and Anglicare Sydney have also repeatedly refused to respond tothe Horn, who has been asking you detailed questions since December.

the Horn discovered that the Anglican Church was using its taxpayer-funded aged care arm to pay for child rape liabilities late last year while investigating Anglicare Sydney’s failings regarding Newmarch House, its aged care facility where 17 residents died after a massive outbreak of COVID-19 in mid-2020.

The continued refusal to comment by the Anglican and United churches is despite both the federal government and the opposition ALP calling on the Anglican church on Wednesday in response to the klaxon expose.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said The Horn:

“Given Anglicare’s recent call for more funding, I would expect every dollar it receives for elderly care to go towards elderly care.”

ALP aged care spokeswoman, MP Clare O’Neil said the Horn the actions of the Sydney Anglican Church were “completely inappropriate”.

Anthony Foster: A colossus between victims of sexual abuse and the church

“It is essential that they comply with their legal obligations to pay these claims, but iIt is also completely inappropriate to have shifted these liabilities to its aged care arm, particularly if public aged care funds have been used to pay these claims.” O’Neil said.

Furthermore, O’Neil said:

“This is just another example of the lack of transparency and accountability in the elder care sector.”

In his budget response speech, Albanese said that if elected, the ALP would spend an additional $2.5 billion on senior care, including raising staff salaries and requiring operators to have at least one registered nurse on staff. the place 24 hours a day.

Albanian said:

[Australians have been] ice cream for stories of unforgivable neglect: maggots in wounds, people going days without fresh air, a shower or a change of clothes, stories of residents lying on the ground, crying in pain with no one to help them.

“It goes against everything we are as Australians,” he said. “And while our loved ones suffer and their carers, mostly women, are underpaid and overworked [and] some of the operators that run these places are doing very well.”

By mid-2020, the assets of Anglicare Sydney (a private non-government entity) had risen to over $2 billion thanks to taxpayer aged care payments.

Albanese said the Federal Coalition’s response to the Royal Commission on the Care of Older People did not go far enough.

Despite these claims, and with the expectation that elections will be called at any time, Neither the Government nor the ALP made a statement when consulted by the Horn whether they will prevent the practice of churches using taxpayers’ elder care funds to pay for church child rape liabilities.

If you want to talk to someone about sexual violence, call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.

Anthony Klan is an investigative journalist and editor for The Klaxon. You can follow him on Twitter @Anthony_Klan. This article was originally published on The Klaxon and republished with permission.

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