Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for POLICE, FIRE and EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, Mr ELLIS
It was extremely disturbing to hear that Tasmania Police left secret recording devices in a confidential prison meeting room, recording privileged conversations for two months. The Police Commissioner has announced an independent review to 'ensure appropriate processes have been followed', but the Supreme Court judgment was clear that the appropriate processes were not followed by police.
Public confidence in the integrity of police has been eroded and must be restored. The investigation must answer whether this has happended before, if other privileged conversations were accessed - which the trial evidence suggested was possible - and how the police's faulty systems can be fixed so that it never happens again.
Will you provide the terms of reference to the O'Farrell review so the public can be confident that this investigation will be suitably rigorous?
Mr Speaker, it is of paramount importance that the community has confidence and trust in the work that our police force does, and that they operate within the boundaries of the law. I have asked for a report from the commissioner in relation to the surveillance device matter as a priority, including what measures have been taken to ensure that this does not happen again, to ensure transparency and accountability. I will table not just the terms of reference but the whole report in parliament when I receive it.
I welcome the commissioner's decision to appoint former solicitor-general, Michael O'Farrell, to undertake the independent review. Work on determining the scope of the review is underway and the report is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The Government's intention is to allow this matter to be appropriately reviewed without pre empting the outcomes or speculating on what further action might be required. We will then welcome and consider recommendations resulting from this process.