The recommendation by Royal Commissioner Justice Nyland that the Victims of Crime Levy should be abolished with respect to children and young people gives the State Government the green light to establish a Children’s Commissioner.
To date the Weatherill Government has argued it would await the outcomes of the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission before establishing a Children’s Commissioner.
“Commissioner Nyland’s recommendation regarding the Victims of Crime Levy for children indicates waiting for Royal Commission’s final report is not a valid reason for delaying the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.
“If Commissioner Nyland can make an interim recommendation the Weatherill Government can move to establish a Children’s Commissioner before the final report in May next year.
“The fact of the matter is that South Australia should have had a Children’s Commissioner for at least a decade.
“It was in 2003 that former Judge Robyn Layton first recommended South Australia appoint a Children’s Commissioner.
“After the Debelle Inquiry then Education Minister Jennifer Rankine committed to the appointment of a Commissioner as part of a package of measures to change the Child Development Act:
"The Government has listened to the community. We were clearly told - during an extensive consultation last year - that parents, carers and families want a commissioner.” (Advertiser 12 July 2013)
“The Weatherill Government has run out of excuses for delaying the introduction of Children’s Commissioner with full investigative powers.
“Had a Children’s Commissioner been in place it is possible that the systemic failures that contributed to the deaths of Chloe Valentine and Baby Ebony would not have occurred.
“Worried family and friends who are being ignored by Families SA would have the option of taking their concerns to the Children’s Commissioner.
“There is no doubt that foster carers who feel they are being poorly treated by Families SA would benefit from having an independent Commissioner to take their grievances too.”