Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
With the backdrop of the Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, this National Child Protection Week is a particularly sombre one in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is still dragging its heels on important measures to protect children – especially at Ashley Youth Detention Centre.
The evidence shared at the Commission of Inquiry about both historical and recent events at AYDC has been truly distressing. It demonstrates the urgent need to close the facility. But rather than doing everything they can to close the centre as fast as possible, or to minimise the number of young people being detained, the Liberals are making excuses.
Not only have the Commission of Inquiry hearings painted a stark picture of life at AYDC, but recent reports suggest young people at the centre are being isolated in their rooms for up to 22 hours a day, and are not being provided with schooling. The majority of detainees are on remand, waiting for a court appearance. It’s appalling.
The Greens have written to Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Minister Roger Jaensch to request they urgently look at alternative arrangements for young people at AYDC. After all, it seems the closure timeline is already running behind schedule.
The Commission of Inquiry clearly showed that every single day a young person is in AYDC is yet another day too many. But rather than putting all the options on the table to relocate children, or to provide additional protections, instead the Rockliff Government is recruiting from the prison system to staff the facility.
The Tasmanian community have seen and heard the horror of AYDC, and they’re demanding more from this Liberal Government. It’s time for Jeremy Rockliff and Roger Jaensch to show some real leadership and to take courageous action to protect Tasmania’s young people.