News to me: Miles pleads ignorance as pressure builds over DNA debacle

Deputy Premier Steven Miles has backed his embattled Health Minister Yvette D’Ath in the wake of calls by the LNP Opposition for her sacking over the DNA testing debacle.

Sep 23, 2022, updated Sep 23, 2022
Deputy Premier and former health minister Steven Miles.

Deputy Premier and former health minister Steven Miles.

The decision to change forensic testing protocols at Queensland’s biggest crime laboratory in 2018 has plunged the state’s justice system into “disarray”, according to Opposition spokesman Jarrod Bleijie.

He told reporters in Brisbane this morning that hundreds of serious, violent offenders could be “walking the streets” instead of “behind bars” stemming from the decision that saw thousands of DNA tests compromised.

The circumstances surrounding the decision are still being probed following revelations handed down in an interim report on Tuesday.

Palaszczuk has called for calm to allow investigators to do their job.

Bleijie said Palaszczuk’s response was inadequate and urged her to show leadership by sacking her Health Minister.

“Where is Yvette D’Ath? She handed down the interim report and then we haven’t seen her since. She’s gone into hiding,” Bleijie said.

“She shouldn’t be hiding; she should just be sacked. Queenslanders cannot trust Yvette D’Ath to fix this mess.”

In a media conference later this morning Miles said D’Ath was safe in her job.

He also defended his own record against charges made by Bleijie that he should have been aware of changes to testing procedures in 2018 when he was Health Minister.

“I was not aware of the issues that were raised. They are obviously very concerning,” he said.

“In my experience the pathology staff I worked with are incredibly diligent and hardworking and I’m surprised as anyone to hear these concerns.

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“These are technical decisions that are by and large made by the scientific services themselves. Obviously if concerns had have been raised at the time, I would have taken them very seriously.

“We are doing what we can now to get to the bottom of it.”







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