PREMIER, YOU HAVE TO ACT

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

OUR spe­cial re­port to­day on Child Safety Ser­vices adds huge weight to warn­ings by this news­pa­per and wel­fare work­ers that the sys­tem is bro­ken.

Two weeks ago the Bul­letin said the Premier and her min­is­ters had to stop hid­ing be­hind se­nior bu­reau­crats when­ever un­der pres­sure. We said it was time for An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk and Child Safety Minister Di Farmer to step out of the shad­ows and take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

There has been no of­fi­cial re­sponse to that chal­lenge.

But to­day, in light of damn­ing rev­e­la­tions not only in the case of the ninemonth-old baby whose lit­tle body was found washed up on a Surfers Par­adise beach, but also that cri­sis cases are be­ing al­lo­cated to staff who no longer work for Child Safety – leav­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren at risk and in limbo – the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment must act.

This should not be left to re­views be­hind closed doors.

It is a time for trans­parency. It is a time for lead­er­ship.

Those chil­dren have ef­fec­tively been aban­doned be­cause ei­ther Child Safety does not have the staff and re­sources to cover the load, or there have been shock­ing in­stances of lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion – or worse, in­com­pe­tence that in some cases meant lit­tle kids in high-risk sit­u­a­tions were not prop­erly cared for or mon­i­tored for a year.

What­ever the rea­son, the au­thor­i­ties charged with re­spon­si­bil­ity for the wel­fare of chil­dren at risk have failed in too many in­stances. The ex­am­ples in our re­port to­day are damn­ing and deeply con­cern­ing.

Adding to wor­ry­ing in­stances in which chil­dren on the Gold Coast have been harmed, we have learned of one of­fice where more than 40 chil­dren were al­lo­cated to of­fi­cers who were no longer there.

A re­view of Child Safety op­er­a­tions must be held.

Yet again, we urge Ms Palaszczuk to step up to pro­tect the chil­dren.

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