The irrelevance of the existing paper trail perpetuated the Queensland Health
Queensland Health had commanded full control over each investigation into the cover-up of the evidence confirming the events which, due to incapacity, had forced me to resign.
Because Queensland Health was able to dismiss Ms Mason's confirmation, to the ADCQ, that it was not the Department of WPHS as claimed, in her letter dated 25 May 1998, but the Clinical Nurse who had objected to my medically prescribed footwear, they were able to divert a response from being made to the ADCQ by the nurse.
I eventually received a response from the Attorney-General:
On Tuesday 19
February 2010 I wrote to my local MP Ms V Darling:
"... I would appreciate your representation... please put forward the enclosed Parliamentary Question on Notice to the Minister for Health, Mr Paul Lucas..."
The questions were those asked by Ms Pratt which Mr Paul Lucas had not answered.
Ms Darling still refused to acknowledge my mail.
On 30 April 2010 I wrote to Mr C Dick, the Attorney-General:
“…you indicated the Law, Justice and Safety Committee are not equipped to investigate…It is very clear that the Law, Justice and Safety Committee cannot ensure that the Ombudsman remains impartial during the performance of its function; it clearly is not equipped with the full power to determine what…when the Ombudsman took such considerable time to compile 26 items of concern…drove the Ombudsman to dismiss those concerns when Queensland Health chose to dismiss them…I would ask that you inform me who is the legislated watchdog established to independently override the Queensland Health culture of secrecy discovered by the Bundaberg Royal Commission.”
On 15 June 2010 I wrote again to my local MP Ms V Darling:
“I am deeply concerned about the reluctance of senior Ministers to openly state whether the Government’s promise made following the Bundaberg Royal Commission, to establish an independent watch-dog for whistle blowers with the full powers to override the Queensland Health code of secrecy revealed by the Commission, has been fulfilled. As my representative I am applying to you to reveal whether such a watch dog has been established."
Ms Darling still chose to ignore me.
I received a response from the Attorney-General:
On 12 July 2010 I wrote to Mr C Dick, the Attorney-General:
“…regarding the adequacy of the powers provided to the Anti-Discrimination Commission QLD (ADCQ), the QLD Ombudsman, the CMC and the Public Service Commission, by the Acts under which they are governed…My concern, which I would like you to report to Parliament, is the fact that none of them used their powers to compel QH to account for any of my documental evidence confirming my complaint of unlawful discrimination against Queensland Health, in particular the letter I received from Director of Nursing Ms K Mason, dated 25 May 1998…When you are next in Parliament would you please ask my local MP, Ms V Darling whether it is by personal choice or due to a senior directive…she has refused to acknowledge my requests for her representation in Parliament. I do hope you will take my concerns to Parliament.”
Mrs Pratt forwarded a letter she had received from Mr M Watt, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health, Mr P Lucas:
On 13 September 2010
I wrote to the Attorney-General, Mr C Dick:
"… I request again that you use your Parliamentary privileges and the powers of your Office to discover why the Ombudsman did not compel Queensland Health to address his ‘Extract of Complaint’ and to establish why both the Ombudsman and the CMC did not bring Queensland Health to account for Ms Mason’s erroneous claim in her letter dated 25 May 1998, and to account for the FOI searches for the documental evidence retrieved from Ms Mason, which she withheld from her submission to the ADCQ.”
I responded to the letter received by Mrs Pratt from Mr M Watt, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health, asking the same questions:
“I refer to your
letter dated 17 August 2010…numbers 13 to 26 of the
Ombudsman’s items of concern are in regard to the erroneous content of Ms
Mason’s letter dated 25 May 1998…Why does Queensland Health continue to
suppress the truth that Ms Mason did indeed state to me, in her letter dated 25
May 1998, that she had communicated to the Department of Workplace Health and
Safety specifically about my footwear requirements due to my disability…Why
does Queensland Health continue to refuse to account for the 26 items of concern...the FOI disclosures relating to the
unofficial provision of my personnel file to Ms Mason...information contained in the correspondence between Queensland Health, my doctor and I, which
Ms Mason removed from the file and withheld from the investigation?”
The Queensland Health Parliamentary Secretary ignored my letter and the Attorney-General, still unable to assist, advised:
I responded to Mr Dick, Attorney-General:
“Given the gravity of
my concerns regarding the lack of an independent watch-dog…please explain why you ...do not have an obligation to refer this matter on for a full
and thorough investigation?...who is
the ultimate watch dog established…to provide an avenue where whistle blowers
can more easily overcome the insurmountable hurdles set by very high ranks who
are still intent on preserving the QH Secrecy code.”
Without naming an independent watch dog the Attorney-General replied:
I informed the Attorney-General that the Honourable Paul Lucas had ignored his referral:
That same day the Premier, Ms Anna Bligh MP, again reshuffled her Cabinet; reassigning the position of Attorney-General to Mr Paul Lucas MP, who retained his position as Deputy Premier, and the position of Health Minister went to Mr Geoff Wilson MP.
MS BLIGH MR LUCAS AND MS BLIGH MR WILSON AND MS BLIGH
I received a response from the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Mr Philip Reed:
I responded to Mr Reed's letter:
On 16 May 2011 Mr Reed responded:
“As noted in my letter, your matter has been considered by a number of independent bodies…as previously advised, I am unable to provide you with any further advice or be of any further assistance in respect of this matter.”
On 19 July 2011 I faxed a letter to the new Minister for Health, Mr G Wilson:
“…I have persistently raised serious concerns regarding the culture of secrecy within QH…it has been the staunch view of your office that all Queensland Health investigations were thorough and that each of the 26 items of concern raised by the Queensland Ombudsman with the Director-General, regarding the information Ms Mason withheld from the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, had been addressed by the General Manager, Dr J Youngman…As the new Health Minister…please take a fresh look at the integrity of the QH investigations into the correspondence which contain information which has been suppressed.
Queensland Health did not respond to the Minister's referral.
Five weeks had passed when I again requested the particulars of an independent investigative body:
Mr Wilson did not
respond so I wrote to the Premier, Ms Anna Bligh MP:
“...I am convinced that whatever measures the Government has taken to eradicate the entrenched culture of secrecy discovered to exist within the Queensland Health Administration by the Bundaberg Royal Commission needs to go a lot further if transparency is the key goal…Queenslanders are confronted with a conflict of interest when submitting a complaint…against QH; that the general rule…is to refer the complaint back to QH for an unconditional self-investigation…the Minister for Health, the Hon G Wilson MP, refuses to update me on the status of his Department’s consideration of my letter to him dated 19 July 2011…In the event Mr Beattie established an independent watch-dog, I would be most obliged if you would please provide me with the particulars.”
Ms Bligh did not respond.