This week in Parliament, the Rockliff Minority Liberal Government refused to confirm if they would follow the Commission’s recommendation to establish a new Commission for Children and Young People that would incorporate the role of the new (yet to be appointed) Independent Regulator.
The Commission of Inquiry showed us clearly that to keep children safe, we need systems with less complexity.
Evidence provided to the Committee by Leanne McLean confirmed that “Tasmania has a disconnected patchwork of systems and processes which do not provide an integrated and systemic approach to keeping children safe from abuse”.
It's that fragmented, disconnected systems that have allowed decades of systemic sexual abuse of young people to occur. There is real risk in establishing yet another separate oversight body.
This is clearly also the view of the Commissioners who recommended Tasmania needs a new Commission of Children and Young People, with three statutory officers – one of whom would hold all the powers currently held by the existing Children’s Commissioner, as well as the powers that are proposed for the Attorney General’s new Independent Regulator.
The legislation to establish the Independent Regulator as a new and stand-alone office was met with significant community concern when it was debated earlier this year because of the risk in establishing yet another separate and competing oversight body, covering the safety of children.
The Government has a real opportunity here. The new Independent Regulator has not yet been appointed and their office not yet established.
It is not too late for the Government to act now and combine this new role with the existing Commissioner for Children and Young People’s office, as has been recommended in Volume 8 of the Commission of Inquiry.
To do otherwise is a lost opportunity to get this right, right from the start.
September 29 2023