Page 1621 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 July 2020

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MR MILLIGAN: Minister, can you explain what the justification is for 117 spaces, given that this parking allocation is only a quarter of what is required by the parking and vehicular access code?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said, I will take advice from the authority and come back to the chamber.

MR PARTON: Minister, have you ever caught public transport or, dare I say, used active travel from your inner south suburban home to the cinema?

MR GENTLEMAN: Madam Speaker, I cannot see how that relates to the first question.

ACT Health—child sex offences

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer to the WhatsApp chat accessed by a convicted paedophile who continued to work in the ACT Health Directorate following his arrest. Family members close to Health Directorate staff have told the opposition that the WhatsApp group was established at the direction of senior staff, including this now convicted paedophile.

The opposition has also been told that staff were encouraged to keep in touch and that this was used as a central form of communication, especially during the COVID crisis, where people had work discussions and were notified about meetings and cancelled meetings, but the whole team shared images of themselves and their children.

Minister, did anyone make a child concern report following the exposure of these children to a now convicted paedophile via a management sanctioned WhatsApp group?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. The Chief Minister and I are waiting for some further advice relating to the specific issues around the WhatsApp group. We have been in direct email conversation with one of the staff members affected by this to better understand exactly what the issues are. To my knowledge, a child concern report has not been lodged and I would not expect it to be in the particular circumstances of this particular matter.

I suggested to Mrs Dunne last time this matter was raised in the chamber that she was welcome to ask for a briefing. As far as I am aware, she has not asked for a briefing. This is obviously a very sensitive matter that is very distressing for many staff in the Health Directorate, not just some of the individuals who might have been involved in the WhatsApp group. I suggest to Mrs Dunne that we would be very, very happy to offer her a briefing in relation to this matter. If she would like to take that up, she could please let me or my office know.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, will you ensure that, if necessary, a child concern report is made?

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