Independent reviews to ensure no stone left unturned

Jeremy Rockliff, Premier

The Rockliff Liberal Government is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to keeping Tasmania’s children and young people safe.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff today released details on two independent reviews which will ensure the actions of State Servants are closely examined and anyone who should be held to account will be.

“It is important that Tasmanians can have confidence that the Government is leaving no stone unturned. Nothing is more important than the safety of our children and young people,” Premier Rockliff said.

“I want to assure Tasmanians we are working tirelessly to make sure children are safe and the past is not repeated.”

An Independent Review has been established to consider the actions, and effectiveness of those actions, by government agencies and other relevant authorities taken in response to the information and concerns raised by Tasmanian Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings about Tasmanian State Service employees and officers.

This review will be led by Australian Public Service Commissioner Peter Woolcott AO.

A separate independent review, to be led by former Auditor General Mike Blake, will consider the actions, and effectiveness of those actions, taken by the Heads of Agency as they relate to the information contained within the Report of the Commission of Inquiry and make any relevant recommendations.

This review will also look at:

  • whether conduct by the Heads of Agency listed as it relates to the information contained within the Report of the Commission of Inquiry would be considered a breach of the Tasmanian State Service Code of Conduct and make any relevant recommendations.
  • any other matter relating to Head of Agency conduct as is relevant to child safety and the matters explored by the Commission of Inquiry that the Independent Assessor determines relevant.

The Premier said that these important independent reviews will also consider the actions taken by Heads of Agency in relation to the COI and the effectiveness of those actions.

“I have said before that I have every confidence in our Heads of Agency and it is important that the public does too. That’s why the decisions by Heads of Agency will be reviewed against the Tasmanian State Service Code of Conduct to determine if there were any breaches, and recommendations can be made where necessary,” Premier Rockliff said.

“The Reviewers will enable submissions to be made to the independent reviews and, as appropriate, for people to be heard personally.

“The independent reviewers will also be able to engage with former Commissioners to ensure the challengers outlined in Volume 1, Chapter 5.1, can be fully considered.”

Both reviewers have been asked to engage with the former Commissioners of the Commission of Inquiry to ensure that all issues are considered in the scope of both reviews. This will include any residual concerns that the Commissioners may have had and felt couldn’t be addressed in the Commission’s final report.

The Government will provide all support and resources required to ensure that the former Commissions are able to engage in these two independent reviews.

Peter Woolcott AO – Australian Public Service Commissioner 2018-2023. Mr Woolcott has had a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service, serving in senior diplomatic positions around the world.He has served as Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand (2016–2017), Ambassador for the Environment (2014–16), Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Ambassador for Disarmament (2010–2014), Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues (2009), and Ambassador to Italy (2004–2007). Mr Woolcott was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2017 for his distinguished service to public administration in the field of international relations, and as a lead negotiator in the non-proliferation and arms control fields.

Mike Blake – Most recently held the role as Auditor-General and has held a number of board and committee roles. Previous and current experience includes(d) being an auditor-general, CFO, Board chairs (TasTAFE and the Tasmanian Electoral Commission), Board member (CAANZ and Anglicare Tasmania) and chair or member of audit committee.

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