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Brahminy Review Must Be Independent, Comprehensive

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Tags: Child Safety, Children and Young People, Brahminy

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The internal review into the Brahminy program is inadequate to properly deal with serious questions raised about the program, and Minister Roger Jaensch should announce an independent, comprehensive review.

If the Minister was putting the best interests of Tasmanian children first, he would have already announced an independent review, and be making arrangements to bring the children currently in the program back to lutruwita/Tasmania.  It’s the only way the standard of care can be looked at in a meaningful, unbiased way, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Tasmanian children.

Instead the Minister has decided to keep things in-house and under his thumb. This is very disappointing, but entirely unsurprising given the Minister’s constant attempts to downplay the issues raised, and his repeated efforts to spin his way out of being held accountable.

We worry that the Terms of Reference for the departmental review only say it will ‘respond and provide information’ about the serious allegations made regarding the Brahminy program.

Without a genuine investigation, how can we be assured this isn’t just a face saving exercise for the Minister and his department – especially when Roger Jaensch has demonstrated he has no qualms about being untruthful with Tasmanians?

The Minister himself has already raised red flags about the scope of this review. When asked whether it would address questions surrounding Allen Braminy’s claimed identity, Minister Jaensch said this was a matter for Mr Brahminy himself to address.

This was a shocking statement to anyone who has worked with children before. When it comes to the people we trust to look after children, the importance of proper due diligence – like background checks – cannot be overstated.

Unfortunately, so far it seems like Minister Jaensch is more worried about saving his own political skin than getting to the bottom of serious concerns about the Brahminy program. But it’s not too late for the Minister to do the right thing here, and we call on him to immediately announce an independent, comprehensive review of the program.