Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for POLICE, FIRE and EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, Mr SHELTON
As the Premier said last Monday when announcing the commission of inquiry, one of our greatest responsibilities is to learn from the past and commit to not repeating these mistakes. In Budget Estimates last week, Assistant Commissioner Higgins was asked to confirm when police had told the Launceston General Hospital about the allegations against James Geoffrey Griffin. Assistant Commissioner Higgins said -
In July, whilst a certain CIB became aware that Mr Griffin was employed at the LGH and then at that point made steps to actually brief the hospital at the end of July.
As you know, the first allegation against Mr Griffin was made on 1 May 2019. How can it take more than two months for authorities to realise Mr Griffin worked with children in a highly vulnerable setting?
Since the Griffin matter came to light, have you reviewed and changed police procedures around allegations like this to include employment and Working with Vulnerable People card status checks as a first priority? This is not only a historical question. Mr Griffin was able to continue working with vulnerable children for three months after the allegation was made. That situation cannot happen now or ever again. What have you done now to make sure it will not happen?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. As the minister for Police, I do not get involved in operational areas. I take my briefs from the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner runs the department. I am not going to speculate on what should or should not have been done as far as investigations go. It will be a matter for the commission of inquiry to go back through those things.
Ms O'Connor - It is actually about what you are doing now.
Madam SPEAKER - Order, please.
Mr SHELTON - I can only reiterate what the Premier has said we are doing and there will be a commission of inquiry. The terms of reference are being worked on at the moment. That is as far as I can comment.