Department of Justice

Annual Report 2018-19

Message from the Secretary

Kathrine Morgan-Wicks - Secretary to August 30 2019

I am pleased to present the 2018-19 Department of Justice Annual Report following my first full year as Secretary.

I continue to be impressed by the skills and dedication of staff across the Department as they deliver the diverse services the Agency provides to the Tasmanian community. I commend and thank staff in all areas for their work in supporting our aim of a safe, fair and just Tasmania.

It has been another busy year for the Department as we advanced the Government’s key priorities within our portfolio. The development of our Corporate Direction 2018-19 has guided key priorities for the year, including the implementation of the Government’s First Year Agenda and 2018-19 Budget commitments, in addition to our critical day-to-day service delivery.

The Department has advanced its significant infrastructure program for the redesign of the Burnie Court complex, the construction of a southern remand centre and new Northern Regional Prison and the implementation of the Government’s commitment to remove police from court duties in the North of the State. It has also opened new facilities at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison and the Mary Hutchinson Women’s Prison.

The Department has progressed a significant number of law reform projects during the reporting year, including the commencement of amendments to the Sentencing Act 1997 to provide for Home Detention Orders and the establishment of a 24-hour monitoring unit to electronically monitor individuals subject to those orders, together with selected family violence offenders.

We have continued to lead the Tasmanian Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse. Following the Government’s commitment to join the National Redress Scheme, a new Child Abuse Royal Commission Response Unit has been established within the Department to continue the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission, including the Redress Scheme, and to coordinate Tasmania’s role as a participating institution.

All areas of the Department continued to support Ministers across their portfolio areas during 2018-19. In October 2018, we farewelled the Hon Guy Barnett MP as Minister for Building and Construction and welcomed the Hon Sarah Courtney MP.

During the reporting period the Department also welcomed new senior staff members. Mr Dale Webster was appointed as Deputy Secretary, Corporate and Strategy, after holding a number of senior roles across the Department during his career. We welcomed a new Director of the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania, Mr Vincenzo Caltabiano, who brings a wealth of experience to the position after holding a number of senior positions in Legal Aid in Victoria. We also welcomed Mr Brent Feike to the Department as the new Chief Information Officer to ensure the seamless coordination of a number of projects, including oversight of the Justice Connect program.

We have continued our focus on two priority projects – the Diversity and Inclusion Project and the White Ribbon Accreditation Project. White Ribbon recognised workplaces taking active steps to prevent and respond to violence against women, both inside their organisation and within their broader community. The Department is proud to have delivered training on creating safe and supportive workplaces and preventing and responding to family violence in the workplace to more than 260 managers and supervisors as part of this initiative.

In addition, the Department is progressing a whole-of-agency People Strategy focused on recruitment, leadership and management capability, developing our people, performance management and managing significant change. The People Strategy will be a key platform for not only achieving our business objectives but also for ensuring that we continue to develop and support our staff.

Once again, I thank all staff for their support during the 2018-19 year and I look forward to another successful year in 2019-20.

Kathrine Morgan-Wicks

About Us

Here’s a snapshot of our Department as at 30 June 2019. Download our Annual Report from the links below to read about us in more detail.

Quick facts

In 2018-19 the Department

  • Had staff in more than 40 office/building locations across the State
  • Provided support to six Ministers across its various portfolio areas
  • Granted 45,914 people registration to work with vulnerable people
  • Awarded 38 contracts with a total value of $13 million – 30 of these, valued at $10 million, went to Tasmanian businesses
  • Processed 16,618 bond lodgements and 17,749 bond claims


1,484 staff equating to 1,377.83 full time equivalents (FTE)

836 Woman

  • 554 female full-time staff
  • 282 female part-time/casual staff

647 men

  • 592 male full-time staff
  • 55 male part-time/casual staff

*Note: The Department has one employee who identifies as non-binary.


  • 13% are aged under 30
  • 22% are aged between 30 and 39
  • 27% are aged between 40 and 49
  • 38% of all staff are 50 and over


  • Implemented legislation to allow Magistrates and Judges to sentence suitable offenders to Home Detention Orders.
  • Ensured that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is automatically presumed to be work-related in regards to public sector workers’ compensation claims for this injury.
  • Developed and consulted on draft legislation designed to address the serious problem of bullying.
  • Made significant progress on implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including establishing the Department’s Child Abuse Royal Commission Response Unit.
  • Strengthened family violence laws by introducing a new crime of persistent family violence in the Criminal Code.
  • Reformed the Electoral Act 2004 to remove the ban on election day newspaper coverage.
  • Implemented a Tasmanian Code of Practice to allow retail staff to carry out inspections on customers’ bags.
  • Developed and established a statutory process for fast tracking the zoning of land suitable for affordable housing and processed four Housing Land Supply Orders.


  • Delivered a 24-hour monitoring unit for electronic monitoring of Home Detention Orders and selected family violence offenders.
  • Opened the $2.6 million Dr Vanessa Goodwin Cottages at the Mary Hutchinson Women’s Prison to accommodate up to 25 female prisoners, including five rooms to cater for mothers and their babies.
  • Engaged a Design Consultant for the $79.34 million Southern Remand Centre and Risdon Prison Complex upgrade program.
  • Engaged an architect for the project to upgrade the Burnie Court Complex, with the development of concept designs well under way.
  • Began and completed work upgrading the Launceston Supreme Court and provided Correctional Officers to assume prisoner transport and security responsibilities at the Court.
  • Opened a new 40-bed facility at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison, worth $1.35 million.
  • Introduced a new bond management system, called MyBond, which offers 24/7 online access and an online bond lodgement service.
  • Launched a new online service for ordering certificates from Births, Deaths and Marriages as well as an online birth registration service.