Poor choice by Canberra

Dear Sir,

In 2013, the federal Attorney-General’s department saw fit to shut the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre run Aboriginal legal service and hand it to a Victorian group run by Wayne Muir. Muir is alleged to have committed rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment between 1987 and 2003, allegations Mr Muir denies.

The federal government requires Tasmanian Aborigines (and presumably others on the mainland) to have police checks just to sit on a committee, let alone be a CEO of legal services.

Ballarat police say Mr Muir was charged with rape in 1987. At the committal hearing, Mr Muir was discharged. Although not convicted, the charge of rape was on the police and court records. Now, two other Aboriginal women have come forward publicly alleging Mr Muir sexually abused them between 1998 and 2003.

If Canberra’s Attorney-General’s department did a police check on Muir it would have picked up Muir’s court appearance for alleged rape in 1987. So why did they proceed with the transfer?

Michael Mansell

Former Legal Director of Tasmanian Aboriginal legal service
7th February, 2019
182 Charles St, Launceston 7250