Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
The Tasmanian Greens welcome the appointment of the Expert Panel to investigate alternatives to the Many Colours One Direction program.
The Expert Panel consists of experienced, skilled, and informed individuals who are well-placed to undertake the vital work to ensure a local bush therapy service for at-risk young people.
We are, however, concerned the panel will be limited to information “constructed” by the Department of Communities when assessing the efficacy of the Many Colours One Direction program, and a Tasmanian based alternative
Ensuring the privacy of individuals is clearly essential, but it is unreasonable to expect an expert panel to comment on the outcomes of the MC1D program when those responsible for the decision to send children there determine what information the panel receives.
The experts appointed to this panel are highly professional individuals, and should have access to the information they determine is required to undertake their work.
While last year’s Investigative Review into the Many Colours One Direction program recommended the Expert Panel provide advice on the establishment of a Tasmanian based program, the Terms of Reference do not commit the panel to doing this.
The Minister must ensure this is immediately rectified, and that the panel is explicitly instructed to provide advice on establishing a Tasmanian program.
The work being undertaken by this Panel is vital, and it is the Minister’s responsibility to ensure at risk young Tasmanians aren’t banished to a too-hard basket in the remote Australian outback.