Minister refuses to say when a dedicated mental health unit for children and adolescents will be established.
The need is urgent and has been for years.
This is a test of the Minister's leadership.
Health Minister, Lara Giddings, must immediately commit to the provision of a dedicated mental health facility for children and adolescents.
For seven years, the government has ignored pleas for the facility, consigning children as young as ten with mental health issues to totally inappropriate settings, such as adult psychiatric wards and even the Wilfred Lopes Centre, where Martin Bryant has been housed.
Tasmania is the only State without a dedicated inpatient unit for adolescents. The situation is absolutely shameful.
The government said the desperately needed and long overdue facility was part of the planning for a new Royal Hobart Hospital.
But now the hospital has been put on a waiting list of up to 20 years, and the Minister today would not say when the unit would be established, before cold-heartedly changing the subject.
That the government did not even see fit to establish an interim facility over the last seven years is a damning reflection of its priorities that have left Tasmania heading in the wrong direction. That it can't commit to one now is a disgrace.
This is about providing Tasmanians with the basic services to which they are entitled. It is about protecting some of our most vulnerable Tasmanians and ensuring they are able to achieve their full potential.
The urgent establishment of the unit was surely considered when the government dumped the waterfront hospital this week.