You are here

Children and Youth - Sexual Harassment

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Tags: State Budget, Ashley Youth Detention Centre, Women, Sexism

Ms O'CONNOR - Through you, minister, is the secretary able to confirm that the complaint was sitting either on his desk or another desk in the department for up to four months before the investigation commenced?

Ms COURTNEY - With regard to the processes around responding to allegations, particularly serious allegations, it's my expectation that they are dealt with in an appropriately timely way. I can't comment on this individual matter. I'm not sure whether the secretary wants to provide, or can provide, anything further on this matter. Given that the Premier has announced an independent investigation into this matter, I'm very conscious that I don't somehow run over the top of that information or commentary that is provided today.

Ms O'CONNOR - It's a straight question about the process.

Ms COURTNEY - I've said that I'm not going to go to the detail of a specific matter. If Mr Pervan has further information, he will provide it.

Ms COURTNEY - The decision was ready four months ago.

Mr PERVAN - My only comment, in support of the minister, is that it will be covered by the independent review, and we are welcoming, very enthusiastically, that review.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Mr Pervan. Minister, can you confirm that the original complaint can't be found in the department's document files?

Ms COURTNEY - Again, going to the specifics of an individual investigation or an individual matter, I'm not prepared to speculate, and it's not appropriate for me for to speculate on what has happened to date. The Premier has outlined the fact that there will be an independent investigation. That's clearly -

Ms O'CONNOR - I will just pull you up there, because we get a limited number of questions, and that one was pretty straightforward. Our understanding is that a determination has been made on an ED5 investigation and the original complaint can't be located. Is that true or not?

Ms COURTNEY - Ms O'Connor, I'm not going to go to the substance of this matter in any way while the Premier has announced an independent investigation. It's inappropriate. That independent investigation, I'm sure, will go to all the matters that you raise today. I feel confident that the comments that have been made publicly will be considered, and I feel confident that the process will ensure that we can all have confidence. As the secretary has said, he's welcoming the fact that the Premier has announced this.

Ms O'Connor, I'm simply not going to go to individual parts of this matter.

Ms O'CONNOR - This is the substance, this is at the heart of it. The original complaint cannot be found, that is our understanding.

Ms COURTNEY - Ms O'Connor, as I've said with regard to the substance of the matter before us, I'm not going to comment on the specifics until we have this independent investigation. I welcome the fact that we are having it. It is very important and, as the secretary has said, it is important to provide confidence on this matter. I know that we'll all keenly await the outcome.

Ms O'CONNOR - It's not helping when you can't confirm whether or not the original complaint exists. It doesn't inspire confidence.

Ms COURTNEY - Ms O'Connor, I don't think it's helpful for me to speculate on various aspects of it. These matters are dealt with appropriately by the department.

Ms O'CONNOR - That is what is being questioned.

CHAIR - Ms O'Connor, the minister is answering.

Ms COURTNEY - The department has assured me that allegations like these are taken very seriously and, indeed, the secretary has just said that he welcomes this independent investigation to this matter. I'm not going to speculate or comment on the particulars of what has happened, given that this investigation has been announced.