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Parliamentary child protection watchdog

The State Liberals will move to make an existing Parliamentary committee into child protection the official watchdog of the implementation of the Coroner’s recommendations stemming from the inquest into Chloe Valentine’s death.

The Committee will also assume the same role when the Safety and Welfare of Children at Risk Royal Commission headed by Justice Nyland reports.


“The Labor Government’s history of profound failure regarding child protection means it is critical that the implementation of the Coroner’s recommendations are subject to immediate, ongoing and independent scrutiny,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.


“Despite the Labor Government spending millions of dollars on inquiries that have taken thousands of hours of evidence and made hundreds of recommendations Chloe Valentine died in entirely avoidable circumstances.


“During the last 13 years the Labor Government has received reports from the Layton Inquiry, two inquiries by Justice Mullighan, the Debelle Inquiry as well as receiving numerous reports from the Child Deaths and Serious Injury Review Committee and the Coroner’s Court.


“The tragic death of Chloe Valentine exposed the systemic failure of child protection policy under a series of Labor Ministers stretching back to when the portfolio was held by Premier Jay Weatherill at the time of Chloe’s birth.


“The Coroner’s damning indictment of the performance of Families SA in protecting Chloe Valentine highlights the collective ministerial failure of Jay Weatherill, Grace Portolesi and Jennifer Rankine who all held the portfolio during Chloe Valentine’s tragic life.


“There hasn’t been a lack of understanding of the problems besetting the child protection system in South Australia but there has been a lack of will to make the difficult decisions necessary to reform that dysfunctional system.


“The State Liberals are not prepared to allow the myriad mistakes of the past be repeated in the future.


“Families SA will be under intense scrutiny from the Statutory Child Protection and Care in South Australia Select Committee through the reform period.”