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Call for Barrett Centre closure evidence to be made public

The Wacol Barrett Centre. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite
The Wacol Barrett Centre. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite Inga Williams

THE parents of three teenagers who took their own lives after the Barrett Adolescent Centre was closed want their evidence to be kept in the public spotlight.

A Commission of Inquiry has been established to investigate the closure of the Wacol centre, which the Newman government shut down in 2014.

Following its closure, three teenagers, Caitlin Wilkinson-Whiticker, 18, Talieha Nebauer, 17, and Will Fowell, 18, took their own lives.

A public hearing was held on Thursday to determine whether some information before the inquiry, including health records, should be kept confidential.

Mental health professionals had also raised concerns that certain information about suicide and self-harm methods could be harmful if it was made public.

Mr Gerard Mullins, acting for the parents of the deceased teenagers, said his clients respected and acknowledged the need to keep some information confidential.

But they wanted information about their children to be publicly available.

"They do place on the record that an application will be made for the hearing … that their evidence and evidence of others relating to their own children should be made publicly accessible," Mr Mullins said.

The state government's legal team also asked for information about health staff to be kept confidential.

Commissioner Margaret Wilson said this, along with other aspects of the case, would need further consideration.

Ms Wilson said she was expected to provide a report to the Premier by January 14 next year.

Public hearings for the inquiry were expected to begin on November 16 but Ms Wilson said there were concerns the commission and legal teams would not be ready by then.

She also said it was expected more than a million documents would be provided to the commission as part of its investigation.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  barrett adolescent centre court health suicide


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