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Resignation of the Commissioner for Children

3 Aug 2017

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader 

It is a sad day for Tasmania's children and young people with the sudden resignation of Commissioner, Mark Morrissey.

Over three years in the position, Mr Morrissey has been the strongest possible advocate for all Tasmania's children and young people, but most specifically those at risk of neglect, abuse, homelessness and a child safety system that is failing them.

Tasmania is losing the experience and skills of a dedicated, highly qualified professional in a portfolio that is crying out for strong advocacy. 

Mr Morrissey is the first Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People to be offered a five year term, yet he is resigning three years into his contract.

It has been a very challenging three years under the Liberals for the outgoing Commissioner, with 151 notifications of children at risk in the North West ignored in 2015, the Safe Pathways scandal and claims of Ministerial interference in his work.

Minister Petrusma has some explaining to do.

Following evidence in Parliament that the Minister's office sought to direct Mr Morrissey not to put sensitive advice in writing, the Integrity Commission was asked to investigate whether there was inappropriate Ministerial interference in the work of a statutory officer.

It would appear Mr Morrissey has had enough of working with an administration that places more weight on politics and controlling the message than it does about good outcomes for young Tasmanians.

On behalf of the Greens, I want to warmly thank Mr Morrissey for his deep concern for, and commitment to, the wellbeing of children and young people in Tasmania and wish him all the best for a less stressful future.