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LGH Child Abuse Claims - Actions of Police Minister

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Tags: Commission of Inquiry, Launceston General Hospital, Child Abuse, Ministerial Accountability


You said in Estimates last week that one of our greatest responsibilities is to learn from the past and commit to not repeating those mistakes. However, in question time this morning, there is no evidence that we can see that your Police minister is taking this grave responsibility seriously enough.

We now know, for example, it took three months after the initial complaint for James Griffin's Working with Vulnerable People registration to be revoked. On the same day, three months after the first complaint, he was stood down from the Launceston General Hospital. Only a few days later, on 2 August, Tasmania Police made a notification to Child Safety. For three months, Griffin was left in place with responsibility for children.

A commission of inquiry will take at least a year and implementation will take longer. Is your Government seriously suggesting there is no obvious immediate policy and procedural change that can be done now to ensure the safety of children - while the commission of inquiry is getting under way - to address some of the obvious flaws, such as a predator's Working with Vulnerable People registration being in place for three months?



Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens, Ms O'Connor for that question and for her interest in this matter. I can assure you, her concern is shared by all in this Chamber, and you understand that.

Regarding the removal of a Working with Vulnerable Persons card, I am not fully aware of how that process is managed through. However, an investigation needs to take place and certain facts would need to be established.

In the same way before someone is charged, a process needs to be undertaken and certain facts established before a charge can be laid. You understand that. In terems of APRHA's processes, which I understand would have been responsible for the removal of -

Ms Courtney - The department.

Mr GUTWEIN - within the department, there are processes in place. The Government is considering all those matters as we move forward. The commission of inquiry will bear great inspection of a range of matters. Where there are improvements that can be made, this Government will take action.