In response to questions on Tuesday the Attorney General said she removed the names of some of the people her recruitment panel recommended for appointment to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal because she doubted their ability to uphold the TASCAT Code of Conduct.
Specifically, she said, “I did not consider that the panel had adequately considered whether four of the recommended applicants held other positions that could affect the perception of their impartiality.”
The Attorney said the Code requires members “to maintain the tribunal’s independence and reputation, as well as personal independence and integrity and to promote the highest standard”.
One of the people the panel recommended for appointment who Ms Archer removed from the list was highly respected former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks.
Ms Banks has previously held a statutory officer position – one she was appointed to by both Labor and Liberal governments – and at no time has her ability to act impartially, without bias, with personal independence and integrity been called into question.
The Attorney said that because the rejected appointees had been public advocates, the perception of their impartiality was questionable.
However, doesn’t refusing to appoint someone of such high standing, capacity and qualification for the position – and who was recommended by her own panel for appointment – show that in fact it’s the Attorney General’s own integrity and impartiality that has now been called into question?
The Attorney General has also shown no confidence in the TASCAT president and the panel because she ignored the fact that TASCAT believed these applicants were capable of serving and were suitable for appointment.
Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Attorney General