Tasmanian ministers are urged to apologize for moaning over Tiffany Skeggs’ question

The Tasmanian opposition is demanding personal apologies from two Liberal ministers accused of moaning in the state parliament in response to a question posed on behalf of a child-survivor victim of child sexual abuse.

A number of government MPs could be heard moaning in the background earlier this month when Labor leader Rebecca White asked a question while quoting Tiffany Skeggs, a victim-survivor of pedophile nurse James Geoffrey Griffin.

Prime Minister Peter Gutwein subsequently issued an apology on behalf of the government, and Education Minister Roger Jaensch later personally apologized for his behavior.

On Tuesday, on the first meeting day since the incident, White Attorney-General Elise Archer and Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson accused of making the offensive noises.

Ms White said they had caused “deep insult” not only to Mrs Skeggs but also to many other victim-survivors.

Ms Archer said Mrs White’s allegations were “shocking”.

“The premiere has unreservedly apologized without explanation or apology to Parliament on Thursday in the last sitting week,” Ms Archer said.

“The Prime Minister’s apology was very genuine and was given on behalf of all members of the government.

Sir. Ferguson reiterated Mrs Archer’s comments, stating that Mr Gutwein had already unreservedly apologized.

Neither Mrs Archer nor Mrs Ferguson came up with further personal apologies.

Ms White then asked Mr Gutwein to force them to apologize, saying they had shown “unscrupulous behavior”.

A middle-aged man in glasses is sitting in a green leather chair
Michael Ferguson says the prime minister has already unreservedly apologized. (ABC News: Luke Bowden)

“After hearing the moans from your ministers, the brave victim-survivor I asked the question on behalf of, Mrs Skeggs, said she was completely disgusted,” Mrs White said.

“She said, and I quote, ‘I expect a meaningful apology from every single person who reacted the way they did.'”

Gutwein said his apology on behalf of the government was sincere and that it still stood.

He accused Mrs. White of playing politics with the problem.

“Anything less than an apology stains the government”

The opposition tried to debate an urgent proposal condemning the actions of those who moaned and urging all members of government to apologize for the incident.

Ms White said that “anything less than an apology is offensive and stains this government in a way that will forever be remembered by the victim-survivors who have witnessed this behavior”.

The push was supported by Green leader Cassy O’Connor, who subsequently moved to criticize the two ministers.

The government ultimately used its numbers to prevent the proposals from moving forward.

Sir. Gutwein said his first apology covered every minister and member of his government.

“I am speaking on behalf of the Government and I have given that apology two weeks ago, I have followed it up by contacting Mrs Skeggs and I will do so again when I meet with Mrs Skeggs in the coming weeks,” he said. he. .

Green MP Rosalie Woodruff and independent Kristie Johnston were absent due to COVID-19 related issues.

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