As Premier of Tasmania, I am offering my deepest and most heartfelt apology to all victims of past crimes that occurred in relation to agencies of the State.
We must always learn from the past and areas for improvement, and there is no room for complacency. We must do everything possible to eradicate the threat of abuse to our children.
There is no higher responsibility than to protect vulnerable Tasmanians, which is why the Tasmanian Government will allocate $1.5 million to establish an Historic Complaints Review Process within Tasmania Police.
This team will focus on conducting a multi agency review to look for potential perpetrators from where there may be multiple information reports or references relating to an individual.
It is my expectation that no stone is left unturned and today Tasmania Police has released the outcomes of an internal review into the handling of the James Geoffrey Griffin matter.
The Outcomes Report shows that over many years and over different Governments there are clear areas for improvement by Tasmania Police and other government agencies, and I’m assured that where these haven’t already been acted upon they are being addressed as a priority.
While the full review will be provided to the Commission of Inquiry into Responses of Tasmanian Government Institutions to Child Sexual Abuse as it contains highly sensitive and identifying information about victims, we must not wait until the outcomes of the Commission of Inquiry to address the issues that are able to be addressed now.
We are committed to improving systems and processes, to be as transparent as legally possible and ensure we focus on continuous improvements to keep Tasmanians safe.
The Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will commence shortly, and it is imperative that it is not prejudiced to ensure any current or future pursuits of justice are not compromised.
This process comes in addition to the other actions already taken by the Government to address historic and current cases of child sexual abuse.
The Government has implemented the Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 2013 and the Registration to Work with Vulnerable People (RWVP) system to strengthen requirements for organisations, employees and volunteers.
We have also overseen changes to the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1997 with 2016 amendments which clarify that information can now legally be provided from Child and Family Services to the Police.
As I said when I announced the Commission of Inquiry, while we cannot right the wrongs of the past, we can create a better and safer future for our young people.