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Having your say

Individuals and organisations who have information relevant to the Inquiry, or who wish to contribute to the work of the Commission, are encouraged to come forward. Contact details for the Commission are available here.

Procedures exist to protect the confidentiality of people who do not wish to be identified. Further information is provided here.

Factual Information

An important part of the Commission's work is to determine the true facts surrounding incidents and events which have attracted a great deal of publicity in the press and media over recent times. The fact-finding process is a rigorous one.

If you have factual information relevant to the Inquiry—that is, information based on your own knowledge, observations and experiences, rather than mere guesswork or speculation—you can assist the Inquiry in any of three ways:

(1) Giving evidence

If the information which you are able to provide is considered sufficiently important, you may be called as a witness before the Inquiry. The first step is to contact the Inquiry. In most cases, arrangements will be made for you to be interviewed by a member of the Inquiry team. It would be helpful—although it is not essential—if you could supply to the Commission a letter briefly outlining the information that you are able to supply.

(2) Furnishing a statement

The Commission fully understands that some people are uncomfortable with the idea of giving evidence at a public sittings. In such cases, after you contact the Commission, it may be possible for a member of the Inquiry team to interview you and prepare a formal sworn statement of your evidence, which can be used in place of oral testimony.

(3) Supplying information

Without actually giving evidence—either orally at a public sittings or in the form of a sworn statement—you may be able to help the Inquiry by furnishing information which will assist the Inquiry’s investigative staff: for example, names of people whom the Inquiry should be interviewing, or documents which the Inquiry should be looking for. Again, the starting point is to contact the Inquiry.


Once the relevant facts have been established, the Commission’s next task is to prepare a set of recommendations in accordance with the Terms of Reference. In this process, the Commission will be looking to stakeholders to supply input and guidance.

The term ‘stakeholders’ covers all groups in the community who have a particular interest in the outcome of the Inquiry, including:

  • health-care professionals, such as medical specialists, general practitioners, nurses and others;
  • people with experience in hospital and health administration;
  • people who have had significant experience with relevant complaints procedures—whether the experience was a positive or a negative one;
  • people who have had significant experience of the public health system in Queensland, either as patients or as members of patients' families.

In many instances, organisations or lobby groups will be best placed to represent the interests and concerns of their members. The Commission especially welcomes submissions from such bodies, whether they be professional associations like the Australian Medical Association, unions like the Queensland Nursing Union, or support groups for patients and their families. If you are a member of such a body, you may choose to have your say through that body; but the Commission will also be grateful for submissions from interested individuals.

There are two ways that you can provide your input to the Commission:

(1) Written submissions

Written submissions should be sent directly to the Commission. There is no prescribed format—a simple letter or email setting out your viewpoint will suffice.

The Commission will accept written submissions from any individual or organisation which wishes to express a view about any of the issues raised in the Terms of Reference. A written submission which is short and to the point—preferably no more than 3 pages—is likely to be more useful than one which is long and discursive. The Commission will contact you if any further details are required.

(2) Appearing at the Inquiry

Individuals and organisations with a direct or vested interest in the outcome of the Inquiry may apply for leave to appear. Such leave entitles you (subject to any conditions imposed by the Commission) to attend at public or private sittings, to address Commission hearings, and to examine or cross-examine witnesses. You may appear in person, through a legal representative (a barrister or solicitor), or—in the case of an organization—through an office-bearer or staff member.

The Commissions ‘Practice Direction’, sets out formal and procedural requirements, which is of special interest to any individual or organisation which is considering seeking leave to appear.

Updated 5 October 2005
© The State of Queensland 2005