‘Reveal system failures’
THE LNP says the State Government must “come clean” and reveal the systems failure in the lead-up to the death of a nine-month-old baby on the Gold Coast.
Ros Bates, the Opposition’s spokesperson for women, accused the Government of a “massive lack of leadership” on child safety and hiding behind legalities.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to come clean about what the department knew and what went wrong,” she said.
“There were obvious warning signs that this poor little baby should have been taken into care. Sadly, we have seen far too many deaths and it has to stop.”
The release of the Queensland Family and Child Commission 2017-18 report on the Deaths of Children and Young People Queensland “paints a grim picture”, she added.
Fifteen children have died from assault and neglect in the past two years and the drowning mortality rate for children known to the system was six times the state average.
The suicide rate for young people known to the child protection system in the 12 months before their death was three times the Queensland average for all children.
Children known to Child Safety had “sudden unexpected death in infancy” rates more than four times those for all children over the past three years.
Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey said the Government had failed to enact cross-border initiatives which may have saved the baby’s life.
“As a former paediatric nurse and shadow minister for child safety this case has made me feel physically ill, and the lack of responsibility exhibited by government agencies as they duck for cover makes me feel even sicker,” she said.
“Denial and failure to act by Queensland agencies is shameful, but the fact there’s a cross-border initiative in place supposedly to enhance protection of children in NSW and Queensland makes the whole tragic case even more inexcusable.
“Whilst it’s totally unforgivable for the Queensland Department of Child Services to have ignored police calls for help, it is also an indictment on the Palaszczuk Government in
THERE WERE OBVIOUS WARNING SIGNS THAT THIS POOR LITTLE BABY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO CARE
regards to their apathy towards cross-border issues. Someone should have picked up the phone and they didn’t.”
Council yesterday removed flowers and other gifts from a makeshift memorial for the child at Surfers Paradise beach, where she washed up in the early hours of November 19.
Council officers had spoken to department staff for advice and the family would be offered any salvageable items.
Police are continuing their investigations after the baby’s father was charged with murder having been accused of tossing her into the river at Tweed Heads on November 17.