Victim Support Service

Grievance Debate

Ms CHAPMAN (Bragg—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:14):  Today, I want to refer to the Victim Support Service, an organisation which has been used by aspirants to join the Labor Party and to come into parliament, I think unfortunately quite contrary to the interests of that organisation. The Victim Support Service has been operating since 1979. It is an organisation that provides support and services to victims of crime. It provides counselling and support services and the like and operates to provide good work under the stewardship of a board. Two Labor aspirants, Ms Jayne Stinson and Ms Jo Chapley, until recently had positions on their board, as the chair and a board member respectively. This is what has happened in the Victim Support Service.

 Members will recall that, in March this year, I asked the Attorney-General how many workers compensation cases were pending against the Victim Support Service's chief executive officer, how many were in the industrial court and what conversations did he have with Ms Stinson as the chair of the board. He did not answer that question. He said he would get that information, and guess what? As usual, we never get an answer back to the parliament.

I can tell the parliament how many there were. There were three—three cases of bullying and intimidation by female managers in that organisation who have successfully obtained compensation, been paid and had their cases resolved. Have we heard from Ms Stinson as chair of the board on this? No. Have we heard from Ms Chapley as a member of the board on this? No. What happened next was that a very kindly police officer assisted the VSS to require and demand that one of these successful applicants return a laptop to the Victim Support Service.

As it turned out, Ms Stinson said, 'I don't have anything to do with that. I am just the chair of the board. The acting CEO, who is attending to this, will give the answers.' Meanwhile, we have Mr Julian Roffe, who is the former CEO of this organisation, now taking legal proceedings against the VSS. This is against the board of which Ms Jayne Stinson has been the chair throughout this tawdry tale.

What has been unacceptable is that we now find that Ms Chapley has decided that she does not have time to be on this board. In May this year, before the litigation that is being referred to (I am aptly reminded by the Speaker), she said, 'I'm too busy. I'm going to retire from this position. I haven't got time to sit on the Victim Support Service board,' this worthy organisation, this board that will give her the credentials on her CV when she lines up to be a candidate for the ALP.

'I haven't got time, but I have time to be on the festival trust board. Yes, I have time for that.' That is a paid position. 'I have time for that, and I'm going to continue to be on that and go to all the art shows and everything else and get paid. I have time for that, but I haven't got time to be on this board.' Where is Ms Stinson? Members, have a look at the website. The chair of the board has disappeared completely. There is not even a chair of the board on the website anymore.

There was a meeting on Monday night, the annual general meeting of the VSS. Guess what? No new chair was appointed. Where is Ms Stinson, the chair of the board? There is no new chair. She has disappeared. She has been whitewashed off the VSS board—completely whitewashed. I do not have a problem with anybody at any time making a contribution to an organisation to assist in the social justice, welfare and services to provide for victims in this state—good on them. But when the going gets tough, you do not just walk away and say, 'It is all too hard. I want nothing to do with this. I want nothing to do with these managers who are claiming bullying and intimidation and CEOs who are claiming unlawful dismissal. I don't want anything to do with that.'

Right or wrong, they have taken on that position, and it is a disgrace that they should walk away from it. I only had to listen to the radio yesterday to hear candidates lining up to deal with a planning issue in the local area of Badcoe. I heard the local Liberal candidate come on and give his say—and other candidates. Where was Ms Stinson?