Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
The 43 state servants who have been stood down in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse points to the significant scale of the culture and harms that led to the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry.
There was a reluctance to provide detail about the four public servants who, it was found following investigations, had breached the Code of Conduct and sanctioned. Given the need to reassure Tasmanians, we had hoped more openness and transparency about what sanctions were put in place.
We cautiously welcome the Premier’s comments about reforming ED5 processes – it’s clear it needs change to ensure the mistakes of the past aren’t repeated and the culture of cover-up ends.
We’ll wait to see what those details look like, and would expect any recommendation from the Commission of Inquiry in relation to state servants are implemented without any delay.
Evidence presented to the Commission also made it clear there is an urgent need for improved protection for whistle-blowers. We’d expect the Rockliff Liberals to be planning this legislative reform now.
Late last year, the Greens wrote to the Premier ahead of the Budget, asking for an assurance of interim funds for the COI to be included. While we were initially pleased to see $30M listed, there are now questions over whether it was reallocated from delayed spending in child safety and support services.
You don’t protect children by moving money around in the budget.
It was somewhat reassuring to hear the Premier say his Government is serious about genuinely responding to the Commission of Inquiry.
While the Commission isn’t handing down its report until the end of August, it’s almost certain reform of the State Service Act, whistleblower protections in the Public Interest Disclosure Act and a massive, targeted investment in child safety and youth justice will be required.