Tasmania child sexual abuse: Public servants under investigation

O'Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors


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Inquiry found that almost half of the public servants identified are still employed whilst under internal investigation.
Australia Criminal Law
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The latest information regarding Tasmanian public servants under internal investigation for Tasmania child sexual abuse are alarming. The inquiry found that almost half of the public servants identified are still employed whilst under internal investigation. This news comes six months after the release of the inquiry's report.

What did the internal investigation find in the Tasmania child sexual abuse?

Basically, the report identified 22 public servants who had allegedly committed child sexual abuse. In addition, another 42 people were identified for allegedly failing to take proper steps to act on allegations.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff stated that four government employees identified as alleged child sexual abusers have been fired. These terminations came after an internal disciplinary process. Furthermore, two have been convicted.

Tasmania's civil servants under investigation for child sexual abuse

However, considering that there were 22 alleged perpetrators, only two being charged is low. Another four workers remain suspended while investigations continue. Additionally, eight employees resigned before the internal investigations began. Three employees were cleared to return to work, while one person is now dead.

Of the other 42 government employees accused of not reporting the abuse, 24 employees are either being assessed or investigated. So far, just one in that group was found to have breached the code of conduct. However, that person faced disciplinary action other than termination. In this group, twelve employees resigned before investigations could be completed.

The response to governments actions so far on Tasmania Child Sexual Abuse

Greens leader, Rosalie Woodruff, expressed astonishment at the lack of accountability for those involved in and covering up the Tasmania child sexual abuse. Woodruff stated that victim-survivors relived trauma and whistleblowers showed bravery giving evidence to the Commission of Inquiry. Therefore, they deserve justice.

Independent upper house MP, Meg Webb, also emphasized the importance of holding alleged perpetrators and abuse enablers accountable.

Premier Rockliff assured that strong action has been taken to ensure Tasmanian children are safe in the government's care. However, this statement comes despite a lack of terminations.

What else is the government doing after the Tasmania child sexual abuse inquiry?

The Tasmanian Government says it is actively responding to the findings of the child sexual abuse inquiry. It stated that it is committing to implementing all 191 recommendations and addressing all 75 findings outlined in the Commission of Inquiry's report.

In addition, the government has released a comprehensive response titled "Keeping Children Safe and Rebuilding Trust." This outlines a phased reform plan over six years to implement all recommendations, with priority actions set for delivery for this July. This response places a strong emphasis on creating a child-safe approach, with a focus on governance and accountability mechanisms to support long-term changes in government institutions.

However, some recommendations are being delayed due to the early state election. Labor justice spokeswoman, Rebecca White, criticized the early election. She saif it prioritized the premier's political future over the wellbeing of children.

Recommendations following the inquiry

The government's response includes the development of a Child Sexual Abuse Reform Strategy and Action Plan. It will be based on the learnings from the Commission's recommendations and broader initiatives. Additionally, it will involve consultations with children, young people, and adult victim-survivors of child sexual abuse.

Furthermore, the government is working to ensure that considerations relevant to key cohorts, such as Aboriginal children, are incorporated into the reform strategy.

Furthermore, the Tasmanian Government is committed to transparency and accountability in the implementation of reforms. The government's response aims to create a culture where child safety is everyone's responsibility. They plan to do this by strengthening systems, guidance, and compliance monitoring to prevent future instances of child sexual abuse.

Read our Case Studies on representing clients in child sexual abuse matters against the state.

Do you need a civil lawyer for suing the state for child sexual abuse?

If you, or someone you know, experienced sexual abuse whilst in the care of the state, it is important to seek legal advice and support. Our law firm has experience in handling such cases and we can help guide you through the legal process. We can ensure that you understand your rights and provide you with the support you need to seek justice.

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