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Jaensch Confirms by Omission His Office Requested Ashley Redactions

29 Oct 2019

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Children spokesperson

In a shameful Parliamentary display, the Minister responsible for the Ashley Youth Detention Centre refused to honestly answer a simple, direct question from the Greens on who directed the independent Custodial Inspector to black out the most politically damaging findings of his damning report in to Ashley.

After playing dumb to the media the day he tabled the redacted report, Minister Jaensch today used slippery language to try to get around the directness of the question.

We gave the Minister a number of opportunities during his ‘answer’ to address the question – did Mr Jaensch’s office direct the independent Custodial Inspector to redact his report or not?

By omission, Mr Jaensch has confirmed his office was directly involved in the redactions, and under the Westminster System, that falls on Minister Jaensch. The question now is, why, and on what legal basis?

Following up from his question time debacle with a laughably weak attempt at deflection, the Minister is now demanding I apologise.

I won’t be apologizing for trying to find out who is responsible for this attempt to cover up the worst of the Custodial Inspector’s report.

It’s more slippery language for the Minister to issue a media release saying neither he nor his office ‘directed’ the redactions.

As a former Minister who never tabled a mysteriously redacted report, I understand the Minister's wish is carried out by the Department. It is possible for an agency to be left with a clear understanding of the Minister’s will and wish, without being directed specifically to take a course of action.

Communities Tasmania did not ‘work with the Custodial Inspector’ on the redactions, of its own volition. That’s not how it works in the Westminster System of accountability. The buck stops with Minister Jaensch.