Fentiman must go as child safety response rates freefall

· Shannon Fentiman must go after latest Child Safety quarterly data today reveals worst response rates since Beattie/Bligh era
· 65 per cent of children suspected of child abuse aren’t being seen within the recommended time
· Minister’s spin can’t hide the fact child safety response times have fallen across the board

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s embattled Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman must go after today’s release of the latest Child Safety quarterly data, which showed 65 per cent of the 13, 279 Queensland children suspected of abuse weren’t being seen within the recommended time.

Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said today’s figures were the worst since the bad old days of the Bligh Labor Government.

“Annastacia Palazczuk and Shannon Fentiman can spin the figures anyway they like, but too many vulnerable Queensland children are being left in danger for too long and it’s not good enough,” Ms Bates said.

“Under Labor, 79 per cent of suspected abuse cases requiring action within 10 days aren’t being seen to.

“The fact is, over the last twelve months the number of notifications to the Child Safety Department has remained largely the same, increasing fractionally from 22,356 last year to 22,607 this year.

“Despite this, response times continue to slide under Shannon Fentiman, leaving vulnerable children in dangerous environments with no support.

“Shannon Fentiman knew these figures were going to be bad, that’s why after sitting on them for weeks, she chose to release them in the middle of the Queensland Rail crisis.”

Ms Bates said Labor’s desperate attempts to place blame on the LNP were an attempt to distract from the fact that the child safety system was in crisis under their watch.

“Labor has had 20 months to ensure the Child Safety system is doing its job – instead it’s going backwards in every regard,” she said.

“The LNP employed 77 new frontline child safety officers, committed $406 million to implement the recommendations of the landmark Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (Carmody Review) and left a $20 million contingency fund in Treasury to ensure Queensland children were protected.

“This Minister clearly isn’t up to the job – it’s time Annastacia Palaszczuk gave it to someone who is.”

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