Government secrecy around child abuse allegations continues to grow

Tasmanian Labor
  • Shelton joins Ministerial colleagues in admitting he failed to act
  • Government concealed allegations rather than act to protect children
  • Commission of Inquiry must examine Liberal’s unacceptable response
  • Police Minister Mark Shelton first learned of serious child sex abuse allegations more than a year ago but failed to act to warn or contact children, families or staff of government agencies who may have been affected.

    Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said Mr Shelton today joined a growing list of Gutwein Government Ministers who had knowledge of the allegations involving Launceston General Hospital nurse Jim Griffin but remained silent well ahead of an independent inquiry being launched just weeks ago.

    Ms Lovell said the Police Minister today admitted he had been informed of the initial allegations involving Mr Griffin on August 23 last year but could not explain why he chose to remain silent.

    “Clearly – even at that time – this was a matter that potentially reached beyond the LGH considering Mr Griffin’s involvement with other government agencies and other organisations,” Ms Lovell said.

    “We now know that Mr Griffin worked at the Ashley Youth Detention Centre and was involved with other organisations including UTAS and sporting groups.

    “Mr Shelton cannot say why he chose not to reach out to these groups or why he did not immediately talk to his Ministerial colleagues responsible for these other government areas.

    “He cannot say why he in fact did nothing for more than a year.

    “The Premier has confirmed he learned about the allegations late last year and did nothing.

    “The Health Minister Sarah Courtney has admitted she was aware of the allegations in July 2019 and similarly did nothing.

    “A series of Ministers have this week claimed they knew nothing until the matters became public a few months ago and then hastily established an independent investigation.

    “The fact is if it sounds like a cover up and looks like a cover up then in all probability it is a cover up.”

    Sarah Lovell MLC

    Shadow Health Minister

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