The State Liberals have urged the Weatherill Government to act on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, released yesterday, regarding the need for the creation of a national approach to Working with Children Checks (WWCC).
“The Royal Commission is scathing of the failure of governments to develop a standardised approach so that key aspects of WWCC schemes are dealt with in the same way,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.
“As the Royal Commission notes, WWCCs across Australia are inconsistent and complex, there is unnecessary duplication, no integration of schemes and inadequate information sharing and monitoring of WWCC cardholders.
“The situation in South Australia is worse still where the Weatherill Government hasn’t even managed to develop a state-wide standardised approach.
“The bureaucratic mess of different checks and clearances required by a range of South Australian Government Departments is a disgrace.
“Given the abject failure of the Weatherill Government’s attempts to create an effective WWCC system we are probably best place to benefit from the development of a national standard.
“The Royal Commission also makes the important point that while WWCCs are an important tool in the absence of broader child protection strategies they do not make an organisation safe for children.
“Protecting children from sexual predators is too important to be left to the current fractured and dysfunctional system.
“Queensland’s blue card provides a good model for how a national WWCC system should operate.
“As the Royal Commission notes, WWCCs deliver unquestionable benefits to the safeguarding of children - South Australia needs to plays its role in strengthening the WWCC regime in Australia.”