Families SA involvement with Hillier tragedy must be examined now

The State Liberals believe the Weatherill Government’s refusal to investigate the role Families SA played in the lead up to the Hillier tragedy is potentially putting other vulnerable children at risk.

“This approach repeats the Labor Government’s mistakes in the aftermath of the tragic death of Chloe Valentine and threatens the safety of thousands of vulnerable children in South Australia,” said Shadow Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“The appalling failure of Families SA in the Chloe Valentine case was not understood until Coroner Mark Johns conducted an inquest more than three years after her tragic death in January 2012.

“We simply can’t afford to wait for three years to understand if Families SA has once again failed to protect vulnerable children in South Australia – we need to be able to take corrective action as soon as possible.

“Coroner Johns labelled Families SA flawed and broken and called for a major overhaul of the Agency after he had assessed it role in the death of Chloe Valentine.

“The Weatherill Government are still to implement all the Coroner’s recommendations – more than four years after her death.

“The Weatherill Government’s claim that the matter should be left solely in the hands of police doesn’t bare cursory examination.

“It is not the Police’s job to consider whether Families SA should have removed these children at an earlier date.

“Indeed the Police made no such recommendation in the Chloe Valentine case.

“Yet any reasonable person looking at the Chloe Valentine case would conclude that she could and should have been removed before her tragic death.

“Our police do an exceptional job managing these horrible situations but we should be doing everything we can to avoid them.

“That’s why there must be a full investigation of Families SA’s involvement with the family at the centre of this case rather than just the regular police investigation of the tragic deaths.”