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SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE LINDEBERG GRIEVANCE
(SENATE-Friday, 11 June 2004)
- Committee front matter
- Committee witnesses
ACTING CHAIR (Senator Kirk)
- Committee witnesses
ACTING CHAIR (Senator Kirk)
- Committee witnesses
Content WindowSELECT COMMITTEE ON THE LINDEBERG GRIEVANCE - 11/06/2004 - Lindeberg Grievance
CHAIR —I invite you to make an opening statement.
Mr Grundy —Thank you. I am here today because I saw an advertisement in the newspaper. That advertisement is headed `Select Committee on the Lindeberg Grievance'. Part of the advertisement calls for submissions relating to the destruction and concealment by government of information of public interest, matters relating to the protection of children and matters relating to the protection of whistleblowers.
CHAIR —And also whether the Senate was misled.
Mr Grundy —Indeed. If it should be the view of the committee that my evidence is not germane to your terms of reference, I apologise. I am here because I read your advertisement.
CHAIR —Thank you, we appreciate it.
Mr Grundy —I responded on the basis of a citizen responding to an advertisement that mentioned those matters. If it should transpire that you do not think that my evidence is germane to your terms of reference, please tell me, and I will leave.
CHAIR —We welcome your attendance and your submission.
Mr Grundy —It has been mentioned many times today, `What has this got to do with our terms of reference?' I just want to be clear that I am responding because it was in the newspaper. I have quite a lot to say. I hope that you will bear with me. If I am going on for too long, let me know, because you may prefer to question me rather than to listen to a diatribe from me. But I believe that unless I take you through my information it may not be clear to you how it is relevant. I believe and I am prepared to go on oath—I am on oath far as I am concerned—that the Senate, through the unresolved whistleblower cases committee, was told in 1995 a series of nonsenses. They were not just nonsenses; the Senate was told a series of deliberate, disingenuous, deceitful and dishonest falsehoods. I believe the Senate was misled by the falsehoods it was told and I believe it was also misled by what it was not told. I will detail the matters involved in a moment.
Deceiving the Senate is one thing. What is equally serious is the reality that over the years these falsehoods and that deception had to be maintained to protect not only those who benefited from them but also those responsible for them. The maintenance of the deceit has required a whole range of other people and agencies becoming involved. Like a cancer, the deceit has spread throughout public administration in this state. The deceit was about cover-up and the cover-up has gone on to infect almost every arm of government in this state. My point is this: the original deceit is serious enough, but the consequences of it are also serious and have to be exposed to some sunlight. What we are considering here, I believe, is not just a matter of what you were told or not told in 1995; what we must appreciate as well is what happened after 1995, for you cannot isolate the events back then from what has happened since.
You, I suggest, were told three things in 1995 that I wish to deal with—that is, that a legal proceeding had to be under way to trigger section 129, destruction of evidence under the Criminal Code, when it did not; that Public Service Management and Employment Regulation 65 did not mean what it said; and that the matter at the heart of your deliberations had been investigated to the nth degree. You were also not told a whole lot of things. Had you not been told the nonsenses I mentioned above or had other relevant material been provided to you, I believe your predecessors might have reacted very differently. Indeed, many wretched things that have happened since may have been prevented.
I do not wish to bore you by going over all the ground covered by Mr Lindeberg and Mr McAdam, but let us for a moment take these deceits one at a time and then consider the consequences of them. We do not need to rely on what happened to the Baptist minister to know that what you were told then about section 129 of the Criminal Code was rubbish. Apart from the simple fact that the wording of the law, as former Judge James Thomas has said to the justice project, which I superintend, meant that such an interpretation as the one you were given in 1995 was never available, it should be remembered that the High Court in Rogerson and also in Murphy meant that such an interpretation was nonsense. However, there were important people who had to be got off the hook. It is no good those who gave you that interpretation now saying, `Oh really, the Ensbey case? Oh well, we'll just have to change our opinion then. We got it wrong.' Not so. The interpretation of section 129 that was peddled by the CJC and its consultants and senior officers back then was a ruse. It was a deceit, I believe. No-one with any inkling of the law could pretend that such a proposition as was put by the CJC was a reasonable view. I have said so for almost a decade in my newspaper. I have written editorials about it. It was nonsense, but it worked.
The same situation applied to the CJC's view of regulation 65, only the deceit in this case was even more stark. They changed the wording of the law to have it read what it did not say when it left the parliament. The CJC just amended the law unilaterally—no debate, no division, no vote. My view is that this represented deliberate deceit. If you want to go back to the record and look at what they said about regulation 65 and then check it against what it actually says, you will see that what I am saying is right.
They claimed that the whole of this matter had been investigated to the nth degree. It was not and still to this day it has never been investigated to the nth degree or anything like it. Morris and Howard looked at some of the documents but they make it absolutely clear in their report that they had only a limited brief. The nth degree claim was another deceit.
Then there is document 13, which speaks for itself. You got an edited version of it but nobody mentioned the Dutney document about what was going on in John Oxley. Nobody mentioned what had happened to a 14-year-old girl at the Lower Portals, and that document was in existence at that time as well. But those documents, of course, would not have served a useful purpose. They would have cast some doubt on what the staff were up to at John Oxley, and the purpose of the exercise was to cast doubt on the manager.
So now we come to the next stage of the process. Once these deceits were in place, everyone thereafter had to fall in line to maintain them, and at the same time it was necessary that the lid be kept well and truly on what was really going on in that place, which brings me to these documents that I have submitted to you, and the second phase of the deceit—maintaining the cover-up. In relation to these documents that I have submitted to you and that you have published, I wish firstly to refer to the statement released by the Chairman of the CJC, now the CMC, Mr Butler. He said, following the appearance of a newspaper story about a girl being raped on an excursion from the John Oxley centre, that there had been no official misconduct on the part of anyone and at the time the police had been advised and had looked into the matter and that the girl had been medically examined at the request of the police. The head of Families, Mr Peach, then went public, welcoming the news that everyone had been cleared by the CJC. But what if the CJC had found otherwise? Of course, it would have been untenable for them to have found otherwise. That would have been terribly embarrassing.
Let us look for a moment at what the CJC did and said. The CJC said there was no official misconduct. Official misconduct by a person who is employed in the public sector can involve carrying out duties in a dishonest way or in a way that lacks impartiality or is a breach of the community's trust, and in any case constitutes or could constitute a criminal offence or a disciplinary breach that provides reasonable grounds for the termination of his or her employment. I am not sure whether you want me to provide that but I could if you so wish. The duty of care is a long-established principle in the common law, and such a notion is also enshrined in various examples of statute law, including the Children's Services Act, which was involved at the time that this matter of what happened to the girl took place. Section 40 of the Children's Services Act states:
Duties of persons in charge of institutions
40.The governing authority and person in charge of an institution (whether or not established or licensed under this Act) having in its, his or her custody a child shall—
(a) provide such child with adequate food, clothing, lodging and care
(d) ensure that such child receives adequate medical and dental treatment ...
There is also the matter of, I believe, section 92 of the Criminal Code, because we have to establish criminality or a matter on which someone can be dismissed for there to be official misconduct. Section 92 of the Criminal Code states:
92 Abuse of office
(1) Any person who, being employed in the public service, does or directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of the person's office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.
That is a criminal offence. Let us now look at the events of 24 May 1988. Six boys and one girl, a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl, are taken by five members of the non-custodial staff of the John Oxley centre on an outing entitled `socialisation within a natural environment'. The trip and its title were proposed by two male teachers who subsequently went on that excursion. I ask that you note those facts. The natural environment chosen was the Lower Portals waterholes in the Mount Barney National Park near the New South Wales border. I have a substantial range of photographs to pass on to you if you should wish to look at the environment of the Lower Portals. I would be happy to do that.
CHAIR —Is the inference that you are making that it was an unusual place to take these people?
Mr Grundy —Indeed.
CHAIR —You did have a map.
Mr Grundy —Yes, I have copies of the map. I will hold it up so that you will know what I am talking about. This shows John Oxley, the border and Mount Barney.
CHAIR —What distance is it?
Mr Grundy —It is about 110 kilometres. It is a 1[half ]-hour drive without stopping.
CHAIR —What were the unusual features of that location?
Mr Grundy —It is then a 1[half ]-hour, extremely difficult walk to get to the Lower Portals from the car park. You drive an hour and a half, park the car and then you set off on an exceptionally difficult walk.
Senator SANTORO —Is it isolated?
Mr Grundy —It is totally isolated. Even to this day there is no mobile telephone.
CHAIR —When they started off on this walk how many supervisors were there?
Mr Grundy —Five.
CHAIR —There were five supervisors and—
Mr Grundy —Seven kids. I will just hold these pictures up so that you know when you reach them. Unfortunately I do not have a copy each because they are in colour and they are expensive. That is Mount Barney, down near the border. When you get to the car park at Mount Barney in a little pavilion there you will find a whole range of posters about the animals, the birds and the bees and so on. One of these posters says:
We were never allowed to go onto it, go up it, climb it or anything. It wasn't nothing to do with women. We'd go so far and that was it. You're not allowed to go, women aren't allowed to go on that place. That's taboo to women, I know that.
Phyllis Dillon, Mununjali tribe
The following set of pictures indicates the kind of environment that you have to walk through to get there. It is very difficult and if I was not so young and fit it would be almost impossible for me to do it.
CHAIR —Have you actually walked that area?
Mr Grundy —Many times. When you get to the Lower Portals now you find a sign in a little flat, cleared space—which is about the size of the area from that table over to the wall, perhaps five metres; it is the only flat, cleared space there—that is where the kids had lunch. Behind that you can see a big rock wall. That big rock outcrop prevents anyone in that cleared space where they had lunch from seeing anything behind. The only view those people had at the lunch area was an interrupted view 180 degrees in front of them downstream. They could see nothing behind. At the Lower Portals there are two waterholes. That is the lower one—quite close to where they had lunch. That is the area between the two waterholes. That is not visible from where you would be sitting if you were having lunch. You would have to be out in the middle of the stream to see up that particular part of the stream. This is a portion of the upper pool. The other pictures are fairly small, so I will not try and hold them up. Behind this area here is where they had lunch; so you can see that you have no view behind you looking up towards the upper pool.
CHAIR —These seven people under the care, including the lass—were they all Aboriginal students?
Mr Grundy —I cannot answer that, for two reasons. One is: I am not sure. The second reason is: what is an Aboriginal person? An Aboriginal person is one who claims aboriginality and is recognised by the community to be an Aboriginal person.
CHAIR —You are querying the motives for taking students to this sort of place. I submit to you that if they had Aboriginal connections then maybe visiting a place of their ancestors or of interest to Aboriginal people may be of some relevance in the choice of location.
Mr Grundy —I accept that, but I do not know. What if women were not permitted to go there, culturally? It says on this sign that the area was taboo to women.
CHAIR —So that is a bit of a challenge; yes. Continue.
Mr Grundy —I just think it is culturally insensitive. It may be culturally appropriate that we take people to such a place and I acknowledge what you are saying.
CHAIR —I take your last point.
Mr Grundy —But if it is culturally appropriate in one context, it is not in another. That gives you some idea of the undergrowth, the overgrowth and the boulders and rocks. It is just not possible, if someone wanted to be out of sight, 15 or 20 yards away, for them not to be out of sight. Finally, because we get around to it, when they were returned after this expedition to the car park, the boys went to the toilets and four of them absconded. That is the environment in which they absconded. So if you wish to have a look at those—
—When they absconded did they actually return to the party for the return home?
Mr Grundy —They were picked up by the police. May I continue?
Mr Grundy —I would like to go through the reports of those who were involved in the excursion before moving on to documents that reveal what happened after the excursion. I hope that you can follow me, because these are things that need to be said about those reports and subsequent events. In a sense, you possibly need to check this with the documents that I have given you and that are now up on the Internet. The Lower Portals is not only a most isolated spot and, given the terrain, I would say an extraordinary place to take young people who are in custody but also is off limits to women. The first report—
CHAIR —In custody or just in care?
Mr Grundy —Both.
CHAIR —Some of the people were in custody and some were just in care?
Mr Grundy —For serious offences. Those on that trip, I have no idea who was in—
CHAIR —The correction centre.
Mr Grundy —It was a youth detention centre and into that place were placed people who had problems and were under care and control orders. Others were in for murder. Certainly, I know of one who was in there on the basis that she was facing a murder charge. She subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter but she was not the only one that I am aware of. I am referring now to the documents that I sent you. The first report is from the people involved in that and you will be able to check it. It is circled on page 15. The writer does not make too much of the fact that the party split into two between the car park and the Lower Portals but that is what happened. It is clear that he and his male teacher companion arrived at the portals with all but one of the boys and the lone single girl. We discover that the two women and the third man are lost somewhere out on the track. He says that they selected a lunch area, which is not hard to believe because there is only one area that is flat and clear. As I have already said, because of bushes, boulders and trees it commands a very limited view of the lower pool and the descending creek line. Because the flat area butts up against that large rock outcrop, it has no view of the upper creek or the upper pool. The limited view that you have from this spot is an uninterrupted 180 degrees at most, looking downstream. The other 180 is totally blocked by the outcrop just mentioned. The writer in this report notes or says that the girl took off her jeans and then slipped in the water. The girl says she slipped and fell into the water and the men hassled her to take her jeans off. She did not want to but she says they went on and on about it until she did. I have the tape recording of her and if you wished I would play it to you but I would prefer to play it to the committee separately without others hearing.
CHAIR —We will take your word.
—The writer says that after lunch they let the young people wander off upstream where they cannot be seen.
CHAIR —Without supervision?
Mr Grundy —Without supervision. That, I suggest, is quite extraordinary. Putting that minor detail aside, the boulders there are so large and there is so much undergrowth overhanging anyway that a person 20 feet away might be out of sight. Never mind, the children are allowed to wander off upstream where they cannot be seen. Subsequently, the writer says, he goes looking for the missing children and starts whistling loudly. I find that very odd. If you wanted to get them back and they were missing, wouldn't you start yelling out and calling them? Why would you start whistling? I see a different connotation in that, I have to tell you. He says nothing at all about a serious matter that three of the other staff mentioned in their reports. How could that be? He does not mention that back at the car park four of the boys clear off into the bush. There is a lot missing from his report.
The writer is sent to phone the police and the John Oxley centre. He does not say, but did he tell the police what he knew, why the boys might have absconded into the bush, and about the suspicions that one member of the party had imparted to him and the others of what had happened to the girl? He is talking to the police on the telephone but there is no mention in his report that he explained to the police that he was also worried about a sexual assault as well as an absconding. He does not say so. In fact no-one on that party tells—and they all saw the police at various times—anything about what might have happened to the girl.
If I may interpose at this stage and not refer to his report, I will just tell the committee that I spoke to a man who said he was on duty back at John Oxley on that day. He said to me when I phoned him that he remembered the incident very well because he had been troubled by it for years. He told me that when the phone call came in there was panic at the centre, and he said voluntarily in the course of our conversation that their story was that the girl had egged them on. He rang me back a couple of hours later and said he was wrong about any mention being made of a sexual assault on the girl. The phone call that had come in had only been about the boys absconding. There was no mention of anything sexual. His back-pedalling was most unconvincing.
Back to the man's report. The writer said he flagged down the Rathdowney police officer as he was leaving the car park and spoke to him. Did he mention any suspicion of a sexual assault on the girl? It seems not. But why not? In the second report, the party is allowed to separate into two groups. The girl is in the leading group, now supervised by two men, and the girl tells that she is being hassled and harassed by the boys, who are pinching her on the bottom, so she has to be in front of the staff to prevent this kind of activity going on on the way up. She is the only female, then, in the group. The writer notes it is possible to go only about 100 metres further along the bank from the lunch site, and he is right. He also notes the girl was wearing a long T-shirt and panties, but he did not insist that she sit down until her jeans dried, or he did not insist that she leave them on wet. With respect, he should have.
After lunch, he says, the children left and went back up the creek. That is, they were completely out of sight from the lunch area. The children cannot be seen, which is no surprise, because you cannot see upstream. Then he says that when it became clear that the children were missing he went up a steep hillside with one of the male members of the party to look for them. That would be true, Senator —a very steep hillside indeed, almost too steep to climb. I know: I have been there, with two ABC film crews. They tried to get up as high as they could, and it was a struggle, even for one of them who had a small camera. In the third report, the slower group with the two women got lost. Is this an appropriate place to take children in custody, when the staff are getting lost? The writer says they reached a river and took a wrong turn. I have been there umpteen times. I have not yet seen a river, anything like a river or a turning that you could take and get lost, on any of my visits.
There is a creek, indeed, that on one visit after heavy rain was knee-deep and about 10 metres wide at the most. I went there with an ABC film crew and I took a rope and an anchor in case we needed to throw it across so that we would have a rope to hang on to when we were going over with the gear. It was about as wide as the distance between me and you now, and that was after heavy rain. There is no river; there is a trickle, for the most part, except after heavy rain. A river—it is nonsense. When the children went missing the writer of this report No. 3, the man who we just learned went up a steep hillside, instead `scaled a nearby small hill'. Here is a steep hillside that suddenly becomes a small hill. He says that he saw the girl and one of the boys embracing. The girl says that is not what he saw. She says he saw exactly what was happening to her. He does say that his suspicions about possible sexual contact between the children were aroused.
CHAIR —How far away was the witness—400 metres, 100 metres?
Mr Grundy —I am not sure. I cannot relate any of this to the environment. He says that his concerns about possible sexual contact between the children were aroused because of what he saw `on top of the mountain'. He has just `scaled a nearby small hill' but somewhere on a mountain he sees them embracing. If you were to get to the top of the mountain that is up at the Lower Portals you would need to be a very good rock climber and you would probably need ropes. That is my view—unless I missed something at the various times when I was there. It does not make sense to me.
He says that a brief investigation failed to prove this hypothesis. What kind of investigation did he undertake in these circumstances that might have proved his hypothesis? However, I believe it does not matter one scrap. He had a suspicion that the girl had been sexually assaulted. He writes that in his document. She was a 14-year-old girl. That required an immediate, appropriate response, given his position and her position. He should have separated the girl, reported the matter to the police as soon as possible, reported the matter to John Oxley as soon as possible and got the girl medically examined as soon as possible. Those requirements were spelled out in the police handbook at that time and would have been known to people running a detention centre. But none of those things happened, although his suspicions were passed on to other adult members of the party—they were all told of his suspicions.
Some stayed behind because of the absconding boys. They were trying to locate them and hoped that the police could find them. We learn that, when they got back with the girl about whom one of the party had had suspicions of a sexual assault on, they did not tell the people at John Oxley. That did not occur until the others got back with the boys. Then, when they did tell the manager, it was decided that the matter would be investigated the following morning.
The writer of the fourth report says, `Two men raced up the mountain.' You could not race up anything at the Lower Portals in search of the missing children; that is rubbish, believe me. I would be happy to take you there. No-one races anywhere at the Lower Portals; the rocks are so slippery from being water washed for aeons that, even walking on the dry rocks, you can quite easily slip and fall. How do I know this? I have done it.
She says that when they got back to the car park the boys absconded. Then she says one of the men went back to the portals. That is a 1[half ] hour walk back and then a 1[half ] hour walk back again. That is three hours—a three-hour round trip. That did not happen, because it does not fit the time line involved. Other evidence from the report says that the police picked up the boys within an hour to an hour and a half. How did he walk back to the portals and then come back to the car park in the space of an hour to an hour and a half? You would have to run. Nobody would run to the portals and back in that time. She also says that the police arrived, and she gave a brief description of the boys to them so they could go and look for them. She does not mention anything about saying to the police, `We have a suspicion there has been a sexual assault.' Why not? I do not know.
Let me go to the last report. The writer says the men ran up to the top of the portals. That is just nonsense—or they were somewhere else and it was not the portals. She states that the group was told the girl may have been assaulted, so they all knew. She also says one of the men went back to the portals—I do not know how that could be—but he was back before the policemen arrived. That was only an hour to an hour and a half later.
I turn to the manager's report. These are the points I would like to make. He notes that one of the men on this expedition phoned in and reported the absconding of the four boys. There is no mention, at the point of phoning John Oxley, of any suspicions that the girl had been sexually assaulted. Why not? Even when they returned, the first two men who had brought the girl back did not apparently mention that there were suspicions of the girl being sexually assaulted, although they knew, because they were all told by the person who had had his suspicion aroused. There was great concern that the boys might have been left out overnight and great relief when the boys were found. There was no such concern about what might have happened to the girl.
When they were returned, the four boys—who had been seen as appropriate company for a single girl on an outing into the middle of nowhere and left unsupervised with her for 15 or 20 minutes, according to their reports, which is probably on the good side when you think about it—were attempting, according to the manager, to provoke staff and were yelling, swearing, banging walls and doors and whistling on a high note. The manager chose not to enter the room where they were in case he should escalate the situation. These were boys that were considered suitable to go with one single, lone girl into such an environment, but the manager, with four of them in there, is not going to go into the same room as them because they are kicking up a hell of a fuss.
It is only at this point that the matter of suspicions about a sexual assault is raised. This is some considerable time after the girl has been returned. When the manager then goes to see the girl because of what he has been told, she is asleep and he lets her sleep on. The next morning the matter of the assault was raised at a meeting of the staff involved in this expedition, but no direct evidence of any assault was available. My suggestion is that that was probably because no attempt had been made to collect any.
Then a youth worker tells the manager something that is deemed to be exempt by the FOI authorities and that the woman herself is not entitled to see. She applied for these documents. When they black out the things that you will see in there, they are blacking them out from her eyes, not mine.
CHAIR —She asked to see the documents?
Mr Grundy —She asked for her documents under FOI, and she got them. She gave them to me, and I have a letter from her which says, `You may do with this as you wish in my best interests to get to the bottom of this matter.' I have done that, and that is why I do it.
CHAIR —When the girl came back to the camp, as it were, did she protest that she had been raped or interfered with?
Mr Grundy —It is not clear from their reports, but remember that we only have their reports.
CHAIR —Did the girl make that known to you?
Mr Grundy —I have to tell you that, when I discovered the girl, I discovered her because of another expedition and another rape. Indeed, it is true. It was in the paper only as recently as last week. You might think it odd, but it is true that a large percentage of women are capable of putting it out of their minds—blocking out horrendous things like this. She had not recalled this incident until she saw her FOI documents. When I took her back it came back to her, and I have those recordings. You might think that is fanciful on my part, but if you refer to the criminal misconduct commission inquiry into foster care abuse it is noted that in 28 per cent of cases women who have been sexually assaulted have no recollection of it years later, and those are proven cases of sexual assault. She fits that category. What she was able to tell me about what happened on that day is considerable because the memories have come back to her. I have the tape recordings. I cannot say what she said, and they certainly do not say in their reports. However, the next morning the matter was raised, but there was no direct evidence.
Then a youth worker told the manager something that was deemed not for her eyes. However, we can glean that he was concerned about her safety in the wings and he was dispatched to secure her safety. He subsequently wrote a two-page report about what he was concerned about, but that two-page report is blacked out. It is in the documents that I have provided to you. He said it was a very serious matter and it gravely concerned him, or words to that effect. I have suggested to you in my written submission that you should call him. He was not very helpful when I spoke to him, but I am aware of other reasons for that. I have spoken to a former resident who was there at that time and I can advise that, according to her, the girl's safety was well and truly in jeopardy.
The manager spoke to the boys concerned. Again, it was deemed that this is not material that is sufficiently pertinent to allow the woman to see it. It is blacked out. Nevertheless, the manager asked the girl if she wanted the boys charged and she said `yes'. In his report he says `tentatively yes', and I say yes is yes—not `tentative', not `maybe'. She said `yes', not `tentatively yes'. The manager then told the staff he believes the girl was sexually assaulted and that they should make reports on the outing. The girl was moved to other quarters but, on the basis of the records that I have here and what I have been told by others, this did not stop the girl from being threatened or assaulted.
The girl was still insisting on the matter being passed to the police. To cut a long story short—but I would encourage you to read this document—eventually, three days later, that happened. The police were called and eventually, three days later, the girl was medically examined. I would encourage you to read the doctor's report because it is extremely disturbing. The police came the next day and had a chat to the girl, who had a chat to a couple of the staff and withdrew her complaint, they say. I would say that as a 14-year-old she does not have the standing to do so, and she is in the custody of the state. But why worry about that. It is a good outcome because everyone gets off scot-free. The girl said she made the decision—and it is noted in the documents—because she was being teased and threatened. She will clearly be held in that environment for several months because her sentence is not due to be completed until mid-August—and we are talking about May. So she was going to be in the environment of being teased and threatened by the people that she might have made a complaint against, because they had not made any attempt to secure her safe accommodation as a safe witness, let alone as a safe complainant. Her rights, I am suggesting, ladies and gentlemen, were trampled on.
But the travesty does not end there. Although she was not given protection, not medically examined for three days and the police were not advised for three days, one thing was done for the girl. While no-one thought to call the cops and have her medically examined, it was thought necessary to give her an abortion-inducing dose of a contraceptive preparation. It is in the documents. The effect of that dosage was operational by the time she saw the paediatrician. I think you know what I mean, if you know what those morning-after preparations do—they bring on the onset of a woman's period. Whether such an action was culturally appropriate, I know not, but I doubt anybody would have bothered to check. That was all that was done for the girl. But none of this is a bother to the Criminal Justice Commission. After its investigation, the chairman released a statement. I have provided a copy to you but I will just read a bit of it. It says:
CJC investigators have since examined department of family services records from 1988 which show the allegations were referred to police at that time. The CJC has obtained and examined relevant police notebooks and diaries which further confirm this fact. CJC investigators also inspected medical records confirming that the girl was examined by a paediatrician at the time at the request of the police.
That is a most outrageous and disingenuous document. It is also dishonest. At the time, the police were not notified. At the time the girl was not examined by a paediatrician, and nothing was done for the girl for three days. But I am suggesting that the duplicity involved in that statement is consistent, because they told everybody concerned that section 129 did not mean what it meant, that regulation 65 did not mean what it meant and that the whole thing had been investigated to the nth degree when it had not.
Did the CJC question any of the staff for this document to be released? Did they question any of the boys? It does not say so. My bet is that they did not. Did they read the paediatrician's report—that stunningly salutatory document? I do not believe it would matter; they did not want this matter to get out. So no official misconduct, nothing there that would lead you to have a reasonable view that somebody might be dismissed, let alone whether an abuse of office had occurred and the girl's rights had been trampled on.
That statement sends a message to people involved in the care of children in this state, and it is this: if you are in charge of a girl—she is in your care—who claims to be raped, you give her a morning-after dose, leave her in the company of her abusers or their friends so that she can be intimidated and threatened sufficiently to drop any notion of pursuing the matter, wait for three days so that all the clothing can be laundered and she will have had a couple of showers or baths, then when the morning-after pill has kicked in, so there can be no remaining evidence, call the cops and have her medically examined. That is what that document says to the carers of children in this state.
Can I tell you what I believe? We know from a statement prepared by Ms Beryce Nelson who set up the Heiner inquiry that she had received information that some boys and some girls were being forced into sexual activity against their wishes at John Oxley for the benefit of others. Ms Nelson says that in her statement; I certainly passed that on to the House of Reps committee and I am happy to give you a copy of it should you wish. I believe, from what those documents reveal and from what I know, that this is an example of that situation. I believe that at least two people on that expedition knew exactly what was going to happen to that girl. I believe that the girl was the victim of a set-up. That no-one was dismissed or dealt with under section 92 of the Criminal Code or indeed no suspicion that anyone might have been terminated is a joke.
But it gets worse. The blame is then shifted to the girl. I have documents here which I can provide. The local area office of the department of families is notified about this and makes some internal references where they talk about the girl involved in an escapade with some boys, who had sex with some boys, but there was no suggestion of rape even though she may have been subject to considerable pressure and so on. So there is a process that has begun of shifting the blame onto the girl. Then, as the message goes up the line about what happened, it gets watered down in true Yes, Minister style. The DG tells the minister that a girl was interfered with. I do not know what your interpretation of `interfered with' is but as far as I am concerned it is different from sexual assault or rape. My view of somebody interfering with a girl would be perhaps putting a grubby hand on her bosom. But she is interfered with. But the parents are not blaming the department although he supposes there is some possibility of the interference leaking to the media. So it all ends happily for everyone except the girl, who goes on being threatened and assaulted and having to defend herself for some time in that place.
Some time later, a story appears in the press about a 15-year-old girl who was raped on an art excursion from the centre. As you have heard already today, the minister at the time says, on advice, that she was 17 and that, despite being encouraged to do so, she did not want to press charges. We asked him, but the minister at the time cannot remember. So we asked the current minister—the Minister for Child Safety, mind: `Is the 14-year-old girl who was taken to the portals the one referred to in those press stories or is this another separate rape of a 17-year-old? If a 17-year-old has been raped and a 14-year-old, how many others are there? Was this common?' The minister does not even acknowledge that he has received our questions, which we have put several times over several months. Silence is what is known, in Queensland, as accountability. Like the questions we put to the police commissioner about charging some people for destroying evidence—like Mr Ensbey, but not others, and we have heard about them—thunderous silence is the courageous response of the police commissioner.
Speaking of the police, I would like to say a few words about the documents relating to them which you have. These are document 90, circled. I can assure the members of the committee that the person who contacted the police inquiring about any records existing of being raped while she was held in John Oxley was not—absolutely not—the girl who was raped in John Oxley. There is no way that girl would contact the police about anything—believe me.
However, let me say this. It is clear that, by the time this person calls the police and asks if there is any record of a rape in John Oxley—we are talking August 2001—my activities in pursuing this matter of the rape of the John Oxley girl had become known to the authorities. I had tracked down a number of former staff who told me about it. As was said today, I do not move until I have my sources impeccable. I did not have just three sources for this; I had half-a-dozen. Then I got the girl. And I know that they chatted to others. In addition, I saw a police car drive by several times when I was visiting the girl at the home of one of her sisters and I said at the time that they would be doing a rego check on who owned the car.
But regardless—this is where it gets serious—the police asked the department if there was any record of a rape at John Oxley. `No,' the department says; `We had a thorough search—and not a skerrick. Sorry.' Then my first story appears in the press. Lo and behold: `Goodness gracious; look here: we do have something after all.' What an outrage when a government department conceals information from the state's police service. When it comes to John Oxley, we have to maintain the cover-up. The travesty and the cover-up go on and on. Then we get around to retribution: `We will teach the wretched woman to go chattering to some grubby journalist.'
CHAIR —Who is the `wretched woman' you are referring to?
Mr Grundy —The girl who was raped, because she is talking to me.
CHAIR —At the isolated outpost?
Mr Grundy —Yes. On 7 February 2002, the woman, through a legal representative, seeks to clear her slate with the authorities in Queensland. There is a District Court matter she wishes to resolve—which I do not believe she committed—and a breach of parole matter that is four years old. The request is denied by the parole authorities despite the fact that she has done nothing to come to the notice of the authorities for four years.
The woman has also placed her case with a firm of lawyers in case there was a claim for compensation for what happened to her. On her behalf, they file a claim for what occurred in John Oxley. Then, as new material comes to light, they file a second claim. But this time the second claim is made under the new rules that flowed in the wake of the insurance payout premium crisis that causes governments to change the law in relation to compensation claims. In early December 2002, crown law is notified of the existence of this second claim, because they are required to under the demands of the law as it currently stands. Because of the requirements of such a claim, it is clear that the woman will have to undergo psychiatric examination to see what effect these events might have had on her—to assess her claim for compensation. Given that her lawyers are in Brisbane, she will probably attend a specialist here at their request.
The woman returns to Queensland from interstate for the appointment and, whilst staying with her family, is arrested by the local police. She calls me and I go and see her in the police station. I hear her story, which I will write one day when this matter is finally resolved. She had to appear in court on the following Monday. I attend and spend the day running up and down the stairs between the District Court and the Magistrate's Court because no-one can tell me—or will tell me—where she will appear. Of course, they knew, but they kept me on the hop. She eventually appeared in the Magistrate's Court. It was a brief hearing. The magistrate said that it was a straightforward matter. No detail was provided in the court and the woman was taken off to the watch house and then to Brisbane women's prison.
I eventually got hold of the warrant under which she had been dealt with that day. It was not the District Court warrant that had been in existence for some years, or even a breach of parole warrant that might have been raised, one might expect, at the time of the parole breach; it was a new one. It was a warrant for her arrest over the parole breach matter, however. It is interesting that such a warrant is not bailable; parole breach means straight to jail. The District Court warrant was potentially bailable. This was a go-straight-to-jail warrant which meant serving the whole of the time she was paroled when she made the breach—not just what was left, but the whole of it—despite the woman's not coming to the attention of the authorities for four years. Had she appeared on the District Court matter there was a chance she might have been bailed.
I will go back to the warrant. I noted at the time that the warrant was quite fresh. It had been signed less than three weeks after crown law had been advised of the woman's second claim against the state for what had happened to her in John Oxley. I also noted that this new warrant—considering that there was probably one already in existence for the parole breach four years ago—was signed by magistrate Noel Nunan. Why, all of a sudden, was this warrant raised? I have asked numerous legal people that I know. No-one can explain it to me. So I wrote to the local Magistrate's Court registrar under section 154 of the Justices Act for access to the records of her appearance that day and to access the warrant. The reply came back that the warrant under which she had appeared that day was a District Court warrant signed by Judge Forno, some years before. It was not, and I told the registrar so: `I have a copy of the warrant; I can show it to you.' It was not the District Court warrant; it was the warrant that was signed by Noel Nunan on 22 December, a matter of days after her second claim was advised to the Office of Crown Law. I have a copy of it and I am happy to let you have a look at it. I think I have provided it to the House of Representatives.
So, all of a sudden, having been a law-abiding citizen for four years, the system decided to pull her back into jail for nine months. Consider what she had been through in John Oxley—and this was only one of the circumstances in which the girl had been abused. What happened in jail towards the end of her sentence is another matter, and that will be written about when this business is finally over, too. I might say that during that period in jail, while privately denying she had anything to do with the District Court matter that Judge Forno's warrant related to, the woman was taken to court and she pleaded guilty to the charge. I wish she had not.
CHAIR —What charge was this?
—This was a charge that some four or five years earlier she had been involved in a break and enter. I wish she had not pleaded guilty. I have seen the charge sheet; I have it here. I can show it to you. I believe it is yet another travesty of justice. I do not believe the girl was there, I do not believe that she was involved and I do not believe that the evidence that they had would have convinced any jury. I am saying that the problem is this: the girl has had the system up to here. She knows they can get her on anything, any time they like. That is just part of life for her. When they can take you out in the bush and let the boys rape you they can do anything. That is part of her story. That is only one of the rapes she suffered in the care of the state and it is only one of the rapes that occurred at John Oxley. Then there is the funny business about the man—
CHAIR —How many rapes do you think did occur?
Mr Grundy —I know of three and there are two others that I am still searching for.
CHAIR —Over a period of how many years?
Mr Grundy —Probably three. They do not keep good diaries, you see. I am not being facetious. It bothers me that you try to get to the facts and you cannot because they just do not. Then there is the funny business—
CHAIR —You say they do not keep diaries, but—
Mr Grundy —The girls do not keep diaries.
CHAIR —there must have been a record of those rapes. Were they reported?
Mr Grundy —No. This one was. That is why I have concentrated on it.
CHAIR —So you are saying that three other unreported—
Mr Grundy —No, I am saying that there were two more on this girl and two other girls were raped by staff. If you think that is the end of this strange story, and if you think I am making all of this up, just wait till you hear this—if you have not caught up with it from the justice project. There is the funny business about the man with the same name as one of the boys who raped the girl at the portals killing his cousin with a double-barrelled shotgun blast in the streets of Brisbane. Despite his being in hospital himself from a shotgun wound to the leg, nobody ever interviewed him about the killing and no inquest was ever held into the death. No-one thinks it is funny, apart from me. I am happy to talk to you about all of those things, not to mention what really happened—
CHAIR —What is your view as to why he was not interviewed?
Mr Grundy —I think he had a very charmed passage through the rape incident. The police never talked to him. I think he had a charmed life and I recommend to him today that when he gets out—because he is currently in jail and I cannot talk to him—he buy a few Tattslotto tickets, because he has incredible luck. I am happy to talk to you about all of these things, not to mention what really happened at the time of document 13 and the handcuffing—because I can tell you what really happened at that time and what happened to the girl who was handcuffed to the bottom of the tennis court fence.
CHAIR —Is that the same girl or another girl?
—A different girl. I have already mentioned that other girls were raped in that place. I could go on and on, but I think I should allow you to quiz me rather than just go on with this litany of abuses.
CHAIR —It is certainly a very unsatisfactory situation.
Mr Grundy —I have given you a summary of those reports, the manager's reports and the officials' reports as they went up, but you will not get a real picture of it until you read them. I encourage you to read them. If the matter in that advertisement is what you are on about, you must read that material.
CHAIR —If you had gone off the reference we would have drawn your attention to it. Thank you for what you have said. You are prepared to respond to some questions?
Mr Grundy —Absolutely.
Senator HARRIS —Mr Grundy, I start by referring to a document that you have provided to us. It is marked G and carries the number 10. This document is under the hand of Anne Dutney, acting manager of the John Oxley youth centre.
Mr Grundy —Is this the Dutney document?
Senator HARRIS —Yes.
Mr Grundy —I will look for it.
Senator HARRIS —The document is dated 1 March 1990. The document goes on to speak about the administration. I apologise; this is one of those situations where you cannot find something that you are looking for. Is that particular incident related to the portals issues or is that another issue?
Mr Grundy —I cannot answer that. I do not know. The time frame is that the portals incident was on 24 May 1988, so it would not have been related. The girl was gone. She was released. It is interesting. Her release date is missing.
Senator HARRIS —Her release date from John Oxley—
Mr Grundy —Her release date after the portals incident is missing from the records. We know that because the minister was asked in parliament what her incarceration dates were. The minister said that her release date after this matter is missing; it is not available. But I can tell you that there is no doubt she was out of John Oxley by the end of August 1988.
CHAIR —You are referring to documents that we have not published.
Senator HARRIS —I am speaking to submission No. 3, which was submitted by Mr Bruce Grundy.
—It is the attachments you are referring to. They are the ones that we have not yet published.
Senator HARRIS —Okay. I apologise for that. It is just one of the vagaries of not knowing what has been published. I will rephrase it.
CHAIR —So long as you do not refer to the attachments.
Senator HARRIS —To your knowledge, do you know who the person was who prescribed, using your terminology, the morning-after contraceptive pill?
Mr Grundy —Yes.
Senator HARRIS —Are you prepared to place on record who that person is?
Mr Grundy —I think I have sent it to you. I can name the person, but, again, Chair, should I name the person?
Senator HARRIS —Without naming the person, was the person employed by the state?
Mr Grundy —They must have been. The person was a medical practitioner operating in town. At one time he was my doctor. I knew him well. He is no longer with us.
Senator HARRIS —In your evidence you also spoke about the CJC report.
Mr Grundy —I did. Here is the document.
Senator HARRIS —With regard to the CJC report, you questioned whether the CJC investigated either the staff or the boys. Are you aware of whether the CJC interviewed the girl involved?
Mr Grundy —My information from her is no.
Senator HARRIS —So we have a situation where a group of children are taken on an outing that is more than 100 kilometres from the centre. Am I correct in understanding that some of the youths involved in that were being held in what we would call detention?
Mr Grundy —Absolutely—custody.
Senator HARRIS —In custody?
Mr Grundy —Yes, and not just for care and control orders is my understanding, although you will understand that I have no right to access the records of any of those people. I have not sought it and I would not be granted it—appropriately. But from what I have been told by those who were there—and I have talked with quite a range of people—they were not there because there was no home for them, their family was dysfunctional or whatever. They were there—at least some of the boys on that expedition—for custody.
—The focus of this committee is primarily on whether the information that was provided to previous committees was provided in such a way as to induce the Senate committee to find—as I would say, in my terminology—an error based on law, basing their decision on material fact that is incorrect? In that light, can you walk through the procedure again—whether this group of people was brought back to the home?
Mr Grundy —They went out in two vehicles; they came back in two vehicles. The girl and all but four of the boys and two of the staff came back while the police were called. The rest stayed behind to search for the absconded boys. When they were located by the police—apparently, according to their reports—they came back as well, some time later. The first group were back at about 5 p.m. The girl was back by 5 p.m. I am sure it is no surprise to you that I would think they should have put into operation a series of actions to deal appropriately with the circumstances that they were there faced with. But they were not even told at that time that there was some concern that the girl might have been assaulted. That did not happen for a couple more hours. And then nothing happened.
Senator HARRIS —In your introductory remarks, you made reference to a series of actual reports by staff.
Mr Grundy —Yes, and you can read them.
Senator HARRIS —Would it be reasonable to assume that those reports were contained within the departmental file?
Mr Grundy —Had to be. That is where they came from when the girl put the FOI request in. Mind you, that very same department told the police that after a thorough search there was no such material available. That is why, I suggest, it is yet more circumstantial evidence of the cover-up. But they could not get away with it for ever. One of the things that happen to journalists is that, when you put in FOI requests, quite often you put them in but you already have them.
Senator HARRIS —Can I take you to the CJC? The CJC was asked to inquire into this issue.
Mr Grundy —Yes, by Minister Spence. They were asked to inquire—it says it in Mr Butler's statement—into allegations of a cover-up of an alleged rape of a girl in John Oxley. Those are roughly the words.
Senator HARRIS —During the course of that investigation, you were not aware whether the CJC called the staff, called the boys or interviewed the girl in relation to the issue?
Mr Grundy —I am not aware of it. They might have done it. I am not aware of it.
Senator HARRIS —If the CJC were required to investigate the issue, would it be reasonable to assume that, if they did not request this specific girl's files, they would broadly ask the department if any files existed that would assist them in their inquiry?
—They certainly had access to some documentation, because in Mr Butler's press statement he says that his investigators had access to the police notebooks at the time. Remember that the police were called in three days later; they talked to the girl. If you read the documents, the girl signed a statement saying, `I don't wish this matter to be pursued any more and I am happy with the investigations that have been done.' Given that no investigations were done, that was quite a cute thing for them to ask her to sign. But that is the reality. The CJC mentions their notebooks. I assume that, if they got to that level, they probably saw this other material that I have outlined to you today. But I do not know.
Senator HARRIS —Do the three reports that you referred to in your introductory statement actually carry dates on which those reports were filed?
Mr Grundy —Yes.
Senator HARRIS —Are you aware whether those dates precede the time at which the CJC was asked to investigate the issue? In other words, were the reports made—
Mr Grundy —I think I have misconstrued your question. When you asked whether those reports had dates, I thought you were referring to the reports of the staff involved in that—
Senator HARRIS —My recollection is that you referred to reports 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Mr Grundy —And report 5.
Senator HARRIS —Do those reports carry dates that would identify the time at which they were placed on the record?
Mr Grundy —Yes, but remember that the CJC did not investigate this matter for some years, because we did not know about it.
Senator HARRIS —I understand that. The point I am walking towards is establishing whether those reports were contained within the family services files.
Mr Grundy —They must have been, in my view, because, when the girl—now a woman—applies under FOI for documents relating to her, as she is entitled to do, these documents appear.
Senator HARRIS —So we have the situation where the CJC provides for the Senate committee an edited version of document 13—
Mr Grundy —Yes.
Mr Lindeberg —The Queensland government—
Senator HARRIS —Mr Lindeberg, please! We have the situation where—my apologies—the Queensland government provides for the Senate committee document 13.
Mr Grundy —Yes.
Senator HARRIS —Did the CJC provide any information to that same Senate committee?
Senator HARRIS —Just any information at all.
Mr Grundy —They provided a very substantial document in terms of a submission.
Senator HARRIS —So the CJC provided a submission to the Senate committee—
Mr Grundy —In 1995, yes.
Senator HARRIS —So the Queensland government has provided document 13.
Mr Grundy —Yes.
Senator HARRIS —The CJC provides a submission.
Mr Grundy —And answers questions.
Senator HARRIS —And had been previously asked to investigate an alleged rape.
Mr Grundy —No; that did not happen until many years later. What I was asking when I started today was why, if you get document 13, you only get document 13—unless the Senate specifically asked a question and they responded to it, and I do not know about that. I think people have asked the Senate what communication there was between the committee and the Queensland government. I do not know of any communication or what it was. My point of view is: if document 13, which is a truncated version of the story of the handcuffing incident, was material that should have been presented to the Senate, what was so different about the Dutney document and what was so different about these documents? Why that one?
Senator HARRIS —That is the point I am trying to establish.
Mr Grundy —As I said at the outset, my view is that of course—and this is why people rant and rave about me and my stupidity—it would not have been convenient to produce the Dutney document or the other one.
Senator HARRIS —I would like to walk you back through the process. The outing occurred in May?
Mr Grundy —On 24 May 1988.
Senator HARRIS —When was the CJC asked to investigate any rapes?
Mr Grundy —After my story appeared in the Courier-Mail in early November 2001.
Senator HARRIS —That is the clarification that I was looking for—in 2001. So the Queensland government in 1995 provided document 13 but did not provide either the Dutney document or the contents of the file held by the department.
—And there may be an explanation for that, but I would like to hear it.
CHAIR —There has been a lot of mystery associated with the true story of document 13. Mr Grundy alluded to it, and I think it would be unfair to Mr Grundy if we did not ask him about it. What is the true story behind document 13? Then at six o'clock we will have to adjourn.
Mr Grundy —It is a long story, sadly.
CHAIR —That is why I mentioned six o'clock.
Mr Grundy —I will try to fit it into five minutes. An unfortunate 12- or 13-year-old who was the victim of violence in the home ran away from home and took up with some other homeless people in a squat. There were three men in this group and the girl. She had a little dog. One day, the oldest of the group kicked her dog. As you might, if someone did it to your dog, she gave him a whack; but the other two set on him and beat him up, and he died. She was now on a murder rap. She was taken into custody and placed in the John Oxley youth centre on a charge of murder. She was a bit depressed, as you might be if you were 12 or 13 and facing a life sentence. In her view, she did not really kill him; but she was an accomplice. She became so depressed that eventually they put her in an adult psychiatric institution—because apparently, according to the information that I have seen from the psychiatrist, this was the only place for her to go. However, before she was sent to that place, one of the staff struck up a relationship with her.
CHAIR —At John Oxley?
Mr Grundy —At John Oxley. It was an improper relationship, because she was in his care and under his control. One of the things that are so important about this is that she believed—at least, this is what she told me—that if she did anything in that place to cause them to have a concern or a bother about her and her behaviour they could whack another year on her. That may or may not be true but it is what she believed. So this relationship was struck. While she was in the psychiatric institution she wrote some letters to this person and this person wrote some letters to her.
CHAIR —That is her superior at John Oxley.
Mr Grundy —Yes. The letters apparently were intercepted. I know about this because Morris and Howard in their report—I have it here and I can provide it to you—note the existence of a document that is sent from John Oxley to head office recommending disciplinary action against this person, because of a letter that he has written to a 14-year-old girl in care, which the people in personnel in town believe he should have been disciplined for. They mention this. One of the wonderful things about the Morris and Howard report is that, while they code named everybody, in the back of their report—that is why you have to read all these things very carefully—they break their own code and they name the guy. So we know who he was. We find the girl; she confirms all of this. I have seen the letters that she wrote to him. He wrote letters to her. He should have been disciplined but he was not.
Very shortly after, on 26 September 1989, the manager is at home and gets a phone call about an inmate having to go to hospital. In the background he hears some noise and says, `What's going on?' To cut a long story short he orders that the people making the noise, one of whom happens to be the girl, be taken down into the secure yard and handcuffed. The boy who was making noise with the girl was handcuffed to a grating where the snakes lived and she was handcuffed to the bottom of the tennis court fence. What transpired was that during that night a member of staff was required to sit on a form or a seat, a matter of six feet away from the girl, so I am told, to watch over her. He was kept on for a double shift. Nobody else was kept on for a double shift that night but he was. He was the person who was having the improper relationship with the girl. This did not come out at the Forde inquiry despite the fact that they were both in the stand. I believe a royal commission should have questioned them about what was in the Morris and Howard report.
CHAIR —Did anything further happen at the snake pit that night?
Mr Grundy —It was a stormwater drain. What I believe is that, from what I have been told, some day a kid saw a snake go in or come out of there and so the myth grew that this was where the snakes live. But I have to tell you that they believed it. The manager knew of the myth, and handcuffing the boy to that was absolute torment and torture. It was torture handcuffing the girl to the tennis court fence, I have to tell you, but the boy stuffed the blankets—or at least most of the blankets—that he was given into the stormwater grating to prevent the snakes getting him. I also have to tell you that the Forde inquiry was told, because they did ask, `What was the temperature on the night in question?' The answer was something like it was 16 degrees, which is a relatively pleasant evening. Now it was 26 September 1989. I am sure you know if you are out all night—what is the coldest part of the night?
CHAIR —About three o'clock in the morning.
Mr Grundy —Up to six, frequently—normally dawn, which was the 27th. I rang the weather bureau. The weather bureau is an absolute minefield of marvellous information. I said to them, `Where is the nearest reporting station to Wacol?' They told me. I said, `What was the minimum temperature on 26 September 1989?' They said it was 16 degrees. I said, `What was the temperature on the 27th, the next morning?' They said 3.9 degrees. A cold snap came in and 3.9 is very cold, as a Tasmanian would know.
CHAIR —At the time that the lad was handcuffed to the snake pit, was the lass confined to a tennis court environment?
Mr Grundy —Yes, the bottom of the tennis court fence.
CHAIR —For the whole night?
Mr Grundy —For the whole night.
CHAIR —She was exposed to the same temperature changes?
Mr Grundy —And as she tells the story it was the wrong time for a girl to be out in the freezing conditions contained by a set of handcuffs to the bottom of a tennis court fence. The next morning when she was released she wrapped the blankets around herself when she was taken back to the wing, not to keep herself warm but to protect her dignity and her modesty.
—What is the inference there?
Mr Grundy —The inference there is that it was an act of great bastardry to do that to a girl.
CHAIR —Who was not properly clothed?
Mr Grundy —Who was not properly clothed and had no access to the things that she needed at that time of the month.
CHAIR —I see.
Senator HARRIS —I think that the inference there was that you asked about the relevance between document 13 and that issue.
CHAIR —Thank you very much. I think we have got a lot of information today. More research will be needed by the committee secretariat into this matter. We thank all the witnesses who have appeared before the committee today.
Committee adjourned at 6.03 p.m.