Survivors say a national redress scheme for child sexual abuse should be beyond party politics, as research reveals that the Royal Commission's preferred model could cost the federal government about $872 million.
Blue Knot Foundation, Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) and Broken Rites called on the Coalition and Labor to commit to fully funding a national scheme on the first full day of the election campaign.
CLAN executive director Leonie Sheedy said: "Redress shouldn't be about party politics. It should be bipartisan. We're all Australian citizens and care leavers who were abused in orphanages and children's homes and foster care were the children of the (states' and territories') government."
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, started under Labor and extended under the Coalition, recommended last year that institutions compensate survivors under a single national redress scheme for 60,000 survivors, which it said was the "most effective" for ensuring justice and the most cost-efficient model.
The Coalition has opted for the commission's "next-best option" of allowing states and territories to run their own schemes under a set of national principles, which are still being negotiated. A taskforce in the Prime Minister's Department will continue these consultations throughout the campaign and present recommendations following the election.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter has previously said it took this approach because a national scheme would require all states and territories to agree, and at least one state - South Australia - had already indicated it would not. "We are trying the second way and I do believe we can be successful."
Labor has pledged $33 million to establish a national redress scheme, including an initial $20 million to create a coordinating agency and an advisory council.
The Coalition has not indicated they will help fund compensation for abuse that occurred at institutions that no longer exist, which the commission estimated to be about $613 million.
It comes as Parliamentary Budget Office figures - commissioned by the Greens - showed a national scheme that split administrative costs and shortfall funding equally between federal and state governments would cost the Commonwealth about $250.5 million over the next four years, and $872.2 million over the decade. This included Medicare rebates for psychological care for survivors.
Senator Rachel Siewert said the Greens would work with whichever party formed government to establish this model.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said the party aimed to persuade Labor to extend its election pledge and would lobby state and territory governments to push for a national scheme.
He said: "For those state and territory governments looking solely at the bottom line, this is a generous offer that we believe will be able to bring more (jurisdictions)into a national scheme."
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Labor was committed to the Commonwealth acting as one of the funders of last resort and funding compensation "in circumstances where the Commonwealth was responsible for the organisations where the abuse occurred."
"Bizarrely, the Greens Party appear to have chosen to ignore the recommendations of the Royal Commission in favour of announcing an amount of compensation which has not been finally determined and is significantly less than the actuarial calculations set out in the Royal Commission's report."
The Commission estimated total cost of redress for all levels of government, including administration fees, could top $4 billion with a minimum individual payment of $10,000 and a maximum of $200,000 for the most severe cases of abuse.
Fairfax has sought comment from the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.