Page 1501 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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that has been brought to my attention. I will come back to the Assembly with further details, if indeed there are any. But certainly there have not been cases of people leaving their quarantine early and disappearing.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, in relation to quarantine in the ACT—sorry for the preamble, but I note there are no current quarantine cases—who is responsible for enforcing quarantine in the hotels? Is it police, is it officers such as officers from Access Canberra or is it somebody else?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Dunne for the supplementary question. The health protection service works very closely with ACT Policing. The health protection service will stay in contact with people, with daily check-ins to discuss both their mental health and any symptoms that may arise. They will be supported, as I said in my ministerial statement this morning, by Canberra Health Services and ambulance if people have acute or specific primary healthcare needs that need to be attended to. In terms of maintaining that vigilance at the hotel locations, that is supported by ACT Policing. We do not use private security firms to undertake that work.

ACT Health—child sex offences

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, on 22 June the media reported on the conviction of a senior ACT Health executive, for child sex offences. The article reported that the executive had “continued participating in internal ACT Health chat rooms where parents exchanged pictures of their children”. Minister, why was this senior ACT Health executive permitted to continue to participate in internal ACT Health chat rooms where parents exchanged photos of their children after he was charged with child sex offences?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: While this is a difficult matter, I do thank Mrs Dunne for providing the opportunity to clarify some information. It may have been better if she had sought a briefing after that article first appeared, on 22 June, rather than making the rather ill-informed comments that she did to the Canberra Times, which further appeared in an article on 29 June, noting that she had a week between those dates to seek this information.

Obviously, this is a criminal matter that is before the ACT Supreme Court, but I note that the individual has pleaded guilty to some very serious child sexual offence charges. Like everybody in this place, I was absolutely sickened when reading those articles and at the evidence that was placed before the court in relation to this matter. This has caused significant distress for staff in the ACT Health Directorate, and the Health Directorate is providing support to concerned and affected employees.

In relation to the specifics of Mrs Dunne’s question, I can assure the Assembly that the employment aspect of this matter was appropriately and promptly dealt with by the ACT Health Directorate as soon as they became aware. The ACT Health Directorate, as the employing directorate, first became aware of this matter on Thursday, 14 May. The Director-General of the Health Directorate immediately commenced an investigation and advised me, as Minister for Health. I am advised that it was not lawful for other agencies to notify the ACT Health Directorate before this

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