Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson
Attorney General Elise Archer has been silent on a meaningful response to the Independent Review of the Public Trustee, released last November. Damian Bugg AM QC’s review included harrowing stories of alleged abuse against some of Tasmania’s most vulnerable people.
Minister Archer’s failure to respond to sector-wide calls for an independent compensation process to remedy the Public Trustee’s serious breaches is inexcusable.
Ten major Tasmanian community sector organisations wrote to the Attorney General three months ago, calling on her to urgently fund an Independent Assessor to respond to complaints of financial and emotional breaches by the Public Trustee.
The Attorney has still not replied.
Monday’s Four Corners exposé of Public Trustees identified Tasmania among the states accused of breaches of care for the most vulnerable. Damien Bugg’s review concluded the Trustee had failed to correctly meet its duties for 26 years, including selling or disposing of personal property without consultation.
Tasmania has a record of providing compensation to victims of institutional wrongdoings, including $54 million to survivors of abuse in State care, and towards the National Redress Scheme and the Stolen Generations financial and wellbeing packages.
In this context, the Attorney General’s silence is scandalous.
An investigation into compensation for serious breaches of care - including emotional and financial abuse - outlined in the Bugg review should be an urgent matter for the Gutwein Government.
The urgency demanded by the recommendations in the Bugg review was clear, and the responsibility lies with the Attorney General. Minister Archer’s refusal to respond speaks volumes.