• Labor’s “external” review not truly external – it reports directly back to the Premier and doesn’t have the power to hold public hearings or take witnesses
• Shannon Fentiman must do the right thing and step aside as Child Safety Minister
• Under the LNP the system improved, with more child safety officers on the ground, more children seen to within the recommended time and more cases resolved within 60 days
Labor’s “external” child safety review is yet another woefully inadequate response to the crisis in Queensland’s child safety system, as the LNP Opposition strengthens calls for Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman to do the right thing and resign.
Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said the Palaszczuk Labor’s Government’s review fell well short of community expectations and it was time for the embattled Minister to go.
“Labor’s review is a toothless tiger because it reports directly back to the Premier, rather than Parliament and the people of Queensland,” Ms Bates said.
“It has no power to call witnesses and has no power to hold public hearings – it is a closed shop review.
“Given Labor’s track record of politicising this important issue, how can Queenslanders have faith that they won’t politicise the findings of this review when it goes straight to the Premier’s office before anyone else gets to see it?
“Labor continues to peddle lies when in fact the LNP never cut a single frontline child safety position.
“Under the LNP there were more child safety officers on the ground, more children seen to within the recommended time and more cases resolved within 60 days.
“The LNP continues its calls for an urgent external independent inquiry that isn’t beholden to Government and will get to the bottom of serious failings within the Department of Child Safety, including the foster care system.”
Ms Bates said Shannon Fentiman could not continue as Child Safety Minister after Annastacia Palaszczuk so blatantly sidelined her during yesterday’s announcement – a sign the Minister had lost the faith of her leader.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk felt she had no other choice but to take over as a result of the Minister’s continued mishandling of issues vital to the safety of our children,” she said.
“Shannon Fentiman is clearly not up to the job and should do the right thing and step aside.”