The State Liberals have welcomed the four interim recommendations of the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission released today.
“The State Liberals have been calling for the removal of child protection from the Department of Education and the establishment of a separate agency for an extended period of time,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“It was a profound mistake to subsume child protection within the Department of Education and Commissioner Nyland’s findings that child protection is in crisis in South Australia confirm the magnitude of this error.
“Whilst the Royal Commissioner’s recommendations are a positive start, further urgent reform will be needed to overcome the crisis that has engulfed child protection in South Australia.
“The Weatherill Government must now immediately remove responsibility for child protection from Ministers Rau and Close and give responsibility to a new minister dedicated to resolving the crisis in protecting our most vulnerable children.
“As Commissioner Nyland recommends a new Chief Executive with strong leadership skills and established credibility in child protection also needs to be recruited.
“The Weatherill Government also needs to drop its opposition to the establishment of a Commissioner for Children and Young People.
“A decade after the Layton Report first recommended the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner the time for excuses and delays are over.”
On becoming Premier in 2011, Premier Weatherill shifted the child protection functions of Families SA and the Health Department into the Education Department.
When the Liberals released their policy removing child protection from the Education Department in the lead up to the 2014 State Election, Premier Weatherill said the move would be:
“…a retrograde step. [Moving child protection into the Education Department] has been a very important reform for this government. It’s regarded as one of the most progressive reforms in the nation.” (The Advertiser, 18/02/2014)