Abuse: Tasmanian Commission of Inquiry.

A Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings was established on 15 March 2021. The Commission’s inquiry will focus on the adequacy and appropriateness of the Tasmanian Government’s current responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. The Commission will submit its report and recommendations to the Governor of Tasmania by 31 August 2022.

Under its terms of reference, the Commission has been asked to inquire into what the Tasmanian Government should do to:

  • better protect children against child sexual abuse in institutional contexts in the future
  • achieve best practice in the reporting of, and responding to reports or information about, allegations, incidents or risks of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
  • eliminate or reduce problems that currently prevent appropriate responses to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, including addressing failures in, and barriers to, reporting, investigation and responding to allegations and incidents of abuse, and
  • address or alleviate the impact of past and future child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through processes for referrals for investigation and prosecution and support services

The Commission has also been asked to inquire into the adequacy and appropriateness of the Tasmanian Government’s responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts generally, and in particular by:

  • the Department of Education to allegations of child sexual abuse in Tasmanian Government schools
  • the Tasmanian Health Service and the Department of Health to allegations of child sexual abuse, particularly in the matter of James Geoffrey Griffin, and
  • the Department of Communities Tasmania to allegations of child sexual abuse at the Ashley Youth Detention Centre.

The Commission is not required to inquire into matters which have been sufficiently and appropriately dealt with by the Australia-wide Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse or by another inquiry, investigation or court proceeding.