Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr ROCKLIFF
The commission of inquiry made it clear there were persons whom the commission wanted to make adverse findings against but were unable to because of legal interpretations adopted by the state and some other lawyers. Have any of these individuals been involved in providing you or your office with any advice on the actions you would take in relation to the motion passed by this House on 28 September, or with any advice regarding what the Government should do about ensuring all individuals who were issued with a misconduct notice by the commission are investigated?
Mr Speaker, I thank the member for Franklin for her question. I am not aware of any but I will
Dr Woodruff - Twenty-two people.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Yes, but in terms of advice to my office. I recognise there are a number of individual State Service employees who have been identified through the work of the Commission of Inquiry. The circumstances that have led to employees being identified are varied from alleged perpetrators to employees mentioned as part of other commentary. Depending on their nature, allegations have been referred to the most appropriate place for consideration and investigation whether that be Tasmania Police, regulatory bodies, such as Working with Vulnerable People or AFRA (? 10:57:48am) or heads of agency for assessment as to whether there may have been a breach of the State Service code of conduct.
For some employees, a process has already been undertaken and they are either no longer employed or following an investigation it has been appropriate they return to work. Other matters are ongoing. All relevant heads of agency are continuing to work through the issues raised and information provided by the commission. Heads of agency have agreed on a common approach to considering action for both current and former employees. This work is not limited to the formal findings. To ensure none of these matters have been overlooked, the Department of Justice has requested each Tasmanian Government agency and regulatory entities provide it with copies of all referrals received from the commission of inquiry for the purposes of auditing and reviewing all concerns sited through a section 34A notice in accordance with the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1995.
To be clear, the Government is confident that all entities that have received these section 34A referrals have acted expeditiously and appropriately in response. However, this audit and review will be undertaken to ensure a centralised record of these matters is established and maintained. The State Service will implement a range of cultural change initiatives which will include awareness-raising to promote a shared understanding and application of discriminatory processes across the State Service in a manner that ensures the safety and wellbeing of children at risk of child sexual abuse or related conduct.