Please see below a statement from Shadow Child Safety Minister, Ros Bates regarding manslaughter charges laid today against a couple over the death of 10 year old, Curtis Powell, in July 2015 at Mackenzie in Brisbane.

“Queenslanders deserve answers from embattled Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over the death 18 months ago of this little boy known to the Child Safety Department.

“Shannon Fentiman must explain what she knew about this case, when she knew it, and what changes she has made since then to ensure another child in care doesn’t die.

“This little boy died 18 months ago, the Minister would have been advised at the time that he was known to the Department, and an independent death review process would have started almost immediately.

“This government claims to be open and transparent and yet will not release critical reports about how children in care are dying.

“Shannon Fentiman must stop covering up the truth about what is happening to vulnerable Queensland children.

“If the Minister knew about this child’s death at the time and didn’t take action, it begs the question how many more Queensland kids could have been saved if she had?

“I call on the Minister to release the external child death review panel report into child safety’s handling of the case involving this little boy at Mackenzie.

“We don’t need any more reviews or excuses, Queenslanders need answers.

“Queenslanders expect Ministers to be accountable for the Departments they run and I don’t believe any Department has a more critical role than this one – to protect Queensland children who can’t protect themselves.

“The LNP established the external child safety review panel process to ensure child safety services did everything possible to protect children.

“The Premier and her Minister must give Queenslanders access the truths this process uncovers.”