The apology is for more than 8,000 cases of sexual misconduct largely committed at religious and state-run institutions responsible for the safety of children.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, seen here in a file picture, will later this year offer a national apology to more than 8,000 people who were abused while in the care of state or the church.
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, seen here in a file picture, will later this year offer a national apology to more than 8,000 people who were abused while in the care of state or the church. (Reuters)

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday he will deliver a national apology to victims of institutional child sexual abuse and their families on October 22.

The upcoming apology was sparked by a five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse which delved into more than 8,000 cases of sexual misconduct largely committed at religious and state-run institutions responsible for the safety of children.

"Now that we've uncovered the shocking truth, we must do everything in our power to honour the bravery of the thousands of people who came forward," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that there were 409 recommendations, of which 84 were already being dealt with in a redress scheme that provides financial and legal services to victims.

Of the 409 recommendations 122 were directed "partly or wholly" directed at the federal government.

Turnbull said on Wednesday the government would adopt 104 of the 122 recommendations posed by the inquiry, called a Royal Commission. 

The government is still considering the remaining 18 recommendations, including a proposal that Australia introduce a law forcing religious leaders to report child abuse.

Confessional no longer confidential?

The proposed law would capture Catholic priests told of abuse during confession, clashing with a central tenet of Catholicism, the confidentiality of the confessional.

It is rare for the Australian government to issue a national apology, which is reserved for egregious misdeeds where the state has played a role.

In 2008, the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to members of the Stolen Generations of indigenous Australians, who were forcibly taken from their families and communities when they were young children under assimilation policies.

The Age newspaper quoted the Social Services Minister Dan Tehan as saying that in terms of the redress scheme, victims of sexual abuse would receive a payment of up to $150,000.

“The royal commission recommended that it should be $200,000, but what all states and territories and the federal government agreed was that that level should be $150,000 (USD$113,500) but that there would be a higher average payment, and the higher average payment would be $11,000 higher,” Mr Tehan was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“So $76,000 will be the average payment, the royal commission’s recommendation was around $65,000,” he said.