The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today responded to assertions made in the Legislative Council regarding the integrity of the statutory office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
“An important part of the role of the Commissioner is to ensure the integrity of the statutory office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People is upheld at all times. In doing so, the Commissioner must uphold, protect and promote the rights and wellbeing of children and young people in Tasmania.
This is the basis upon which I voluntarily participated in the Commission of Inquiry processes, noting that as Commissioner for Children and Young People I could not be compelled to do so.
My participation included contributing subject matter expertise through making a submission, providing a witness statement and giving oral evidence on three separate occasions.
I also provided the Commission with a large number of records held within the Commissioner’s office to ensure they had all relevant information to support their work.
It is pleasing to see that the majority of suggestions I made through my interactions with the Commission have been reflected in their final recommendations.
I note assertions have been made under parliamentary privilege speculating that I may have been the subject of foreshadowed adverse findings or issued with a notice pursuant to section 18 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1995 in respect of allegations of misconduct.
I was not served with any section 18 notices.
I was also not made aware of any foreshadowed adverse findings against the Commissioner for Children and Young People and note that no adverse findings were made regarding the Commissioner for Children and Young People in the final report.
I was afforded an opportunity to make comment on the content of certain draft chapters of the report, despite there being no foreshadowed adverse findings or findings of misconduct, and I was very grateful for these opportunities.
I took those opportunities at all times to promote, protect and uphold the rights and wellbeing of children and young people consistent with my advocacy for structural and legislative reform over the course of my tenure as Commissioner.”
Leanne McLean, Commissioner for Children and Young People