Government refuses to answer crucial questions around timing of sex abuse advice to sporting groups

Tasmanian Labor
  • Ministers still will not provide crucial answers on Griffin allegations
  • Central question remains around timing of advice on allegations to sporting clubs
  • Police Minister and Sport Minister not up to the job
  • Gutwein Government Ministers Mark Shelton and Jane Howlett are maintaining their unacceptable silence about when Tasmanian sporting groups were alerted about horrific child sex abuse allegations and the potential danger to their clubs.

    Labor Leader Rebecca White said both the Police Minister and Sport Minister dodged multiple questions today about when advice was provided to sporting clubs about the allegations involving former Launceston General Hospital nurse James Griffin.

    Ms White said it was critical both Ministers provide thorough explanations about when children’s sports groups were told that Griffin was under investigation for child abuse so that his involvement could be investigated and survivors might be allowed the opportunity to come forward.

    “It’s become increasingly clear that both Mr Shelton and Ms Howlett simply did not share information about this offender but what is not clear is why they took that course,” Ms White said.

    “Investigations by police into Griffin started within a week of a woman coming forward with historic sexual abuse allegations on May 1, 2019 and that abuse allegedly started when Griffin met her as a child through a local sporting club.

    “Subsequently, information about the removal of Griffin’s Working With Vulnerable Persons accreditation was given to government departments.

    “When did the responsible Ministers first reach out to sporting clubs? When were they told their members had potentially been exposed to Griffin? When were warnings or calls for survivors to come forward issued?

    “Red flags were not raised and it’s unacceptable that both of these Ministers believe they can skirt the fundamental issue by reading from prepared scripts that do not contain answers.

    “This government has no intention of answering important questions.

    “The appallingly inadequate approach in failing to ensure potential survivors were given the opportunity to come forward is unacceptable and has exposed the weakness that is at the heart of Peter Gutwein’s Cabinet.

    “Ms Howlett and Mr Shelton are the best the Liberals have to offer but they just aren’t up to the job.”

    Rebecca White MP

    Labor Leader

    /Public Release. View in full here.