The State Liberals are deeply concerned the Weatherill Government’s new Child Protection Department will be plagued by the same problems that beset Families SA.
“The Weatherill Government’s approach to reforms to child protection recommended by Commissioner Nyland has lacked both urgency and conviction,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“Commissioner Nyland’s interim report recommended child protection be removed from the Education Department and a new Department established before the release of her final report on August 5th.
“Premier Weatherill has finally delivered a new Child Protection Department 87 days after he should have but responsibility is still split between Ministers Rau and Close.
“It is ridiculous to establish a new Department to focus on child protection and then divide its responsibilities between two Ministers.
“Jay Weatherill needs to appoint a single Minister for Child Protection to oversee the building of the new Department.”
Even more damning is the fact that only last week Jay Weatherill was still defending his decision to embed child protection in the Education Department as a good idea. “I mean I think it’s a quality idea that we came up with but its implementation wasn’t done effectively” (Jay Weatherill: ABC 891 27/10/16)
“It was an appalling mistake by Jay Weatherill and placed the most vulnerable children in our community at even greater risk of abuse and neglect yet the Premier clings to the fantasy that it was a good idea,” said Mr Marshall.
“Jay Weatherill’s refusal to admit the failure of his discredited policy represents a genuine threat to the capacity of the new Department to genuinely reform itself.
“As will the movement of staff from the Families SA who are not totally committed to a new beginning in child protection in South Australia.
“A very high standard of competency must be required for Families SA staff looking to transition into the new Department.