Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Education spokesperson
Premier Rockliff’s promised new era of transparent government has apparently lasted less than two days, with Minister for Education and Children Roger Jaensch refusing to answer critical questions in Budget Estimates about staff who are stood down for child sexual abuse matters.
Asked by the Greens how many staff from Ashley Youth Detention Centre, Child Safety Services, and the Department of Education had been stood down due to allegations of child sexual abuse, Minister Jaensch repeatedely refused to provide this information - which is clearly in the public interest - without justification.
Minister Jaensch could have chosen to be up front and provided the answers being sought by parents and social sector organisations, but instead we saw a textbook display of old-fashioned Liberal secrecy. It was a truly disgraceful performance.
The Tasmanian community is rightly distressed by the revelations of child sexual abuse across the State Service, and they deserve answers. The government should be open and honest with Tasmanians wherever possible. Instead we’re seeing a shameful continuation of the culture of secrecy and cover up that has compounded the risks and harm to children and young people, historically and to this day.
If Jeremy Rockliff is serious about his commitment for a more transparent government, he should pull his Minister into line and direct this critical information to be publicly released today.