"LAWYERS acting for a 12-year-old Hobart girl sold for sex in 2009 while a state ward have been denied access to her case files by the State Government.
The girl's court-appointed "separate representative", barrister Kate Mooney, is seeking an exceptional order in the Magistrates Court next week to force the release of the files.
The girl's lawyer Roland Browne has had three written requests to the Health and Human Services Department for access to the files stonewalled since October.
He is also seeking a court order next week for the files to be provided by the department, as he prepares a compensation and damages case against the Government.
The revelations have raised more suggestions the Government is suppressing information relating to its mishandling of the care of the girl, to protect Children's Minister Lin Thorp.
Ms Thorp is facing a critical election in her Upper House seat of Rumney on Saturday, with her chances of re-election already damaged by the child-prostitution case.
Liberal leader Will Hodgman said he feared the Government was more concerned about protecting Ms Thorp than it was about protecting the best interests of the girl.
"Who is the Government trying to protect here with its secrecy, the minister or the girl?" Mr Hodgman said.
"The simple conclusion is that this is more about Lin Thorp and the Government's self interest, and nothing to do with protecting the victim and other vulnerable children."
Legal bids to force the department to release the case files follow new proceedings in the children's division of the Hobart Magistrates Court in March. The Government was seeking to extend the child-protection order entrusting the girl to its care for another 12 months.
It is understood the girl's father opposed the extension of the order, arguing that the Government, through its Children and Family Services Department, had not shown it could be trusted to care properly for his daughter.
The magistrate in charge of the children's division adjourned the Government request to extend the protection order, appointing Ms Mooney as the girl's legal representative.
Legal experts last night told the Mercury it was unheard of in Australia for a Government that is also the girl's legal guardian to deny a court appointed representative access to a state ward's case files". Read More Here