Weatherill’s 13 years of failure on child protection

The commitment of $432 million to address the ongoing crisis in child protection in South Australia highlights just how negligent the Weatherill Government has been in addressing the abuse and neglect of vulnerable children.

“Under the control of Jay Weatherill child protection services in South Australia have been poorly led, under-resourced and under-performing since the release of the Layton Report in March 2003,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“The fresh start the Premier promises today can only be delivered by a new Government.”

In June 2004 Jay Weatherill wrote: Despite the best efforts of individual, dedicated and hardworking staff, our key agency responsible for child protection is in need of refocusing and rebuilding. There is now a need for a fundamental culture change and a new sense of direction.

“Those words are as true today as they were in 2004 and as a consequence there is no place for Jay Weatherill in the rebuilding of South Australia’s broken child protection system,” said Mr Marshall.

“Jay Weatherill has proved incapable of delivering the fundamental culture change and new direction he identified as needed in 2004.

“Jay Weatherill championed the disastrous decision to embed Families SA in the Education Department to the detriment of both our school system and child protection services.

“Jay Weatherill failed to implement numerous recommendations from a series of independent investigations into the failed child protection system in this state.

“Jay Weatherill was responsible for the absurd decision to have two Minister responsible for child protection.

“Jay Weatherill developed a culture where no one – not him, his ministers or senior departmental officers – accepted responsibility of the deep dysfunction that has plagued child protection services.”