Premier must put children first and sack embattled Child Safety Minister

Sunday, 25 September 2016

  • Annastacia Palaszczuk must do the right thing by Queensland’s most vulnerable children and sack her incompetent Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman
  • Premier takes extraordinary step of sidelining Shannon Fentiman at child safety announcement – a clear sign of no confidence in the Minister’s ability
  • Labor’s review is not the full independent inquiry the LNP has been calling for to truly get to the bottom of issues within the child safety system

The LNP Opposition is calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk to sack her embattled Child Safety Minister, after Ms Palaszczuk took the extraordinary step of sidelining the Minister at a child safety announcement earlier today.

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said it was clear Annastacia Palaszczuk had no confidence in her struggling Minister after she was forced to come back from holidays, overrule Shannon Fentiman and take control of her portfolio.

“Less than 24 hours after Ms Fentiman again denied the child safety system was in crisis, Annastacia Palaszczuk has stepped in over the top and rushed to put together a review panel – a clear sign she doesn’t believe her own Minister is up to the job.

“It’s time Annastacia Palaszczuk did the right thing by Queensland’s most vulnerable children and sacked this incompetent Child Safety Minister.

“While some action is welcome, today’s announcement by Labor is purely a political response to negative media reports and is not the full, independent inquiry necessary to properly tackle the serious issues that are emerging within the system.

“This is the review you have when you don’t have a full independent and external inquiry.

“How can Labor’s review be fully independent when it doesn’t include public hearings and it reports back to the Premier?

“Only a thorough, singularly focused inquiry, that isn’t beholden to Government, can properly determine where and why the child safety system is failing Queensland’s most vulnerable children.”

Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said while the LNP has been calling for rapid action, Labor has been more interested in playing politics than getting to the real source of the problem.

“When in Government, the LNP made no cuts to frontline child safety workers, in fact we put in place an additional 77 child safety officers who could be on the ground and make a real difference,” Ms Bates said.

“This was in addition to the $406 million the LNP invested into child safety following the Commission of Inquiry.

“When will this Government stop playing politics and start protecting the interests of Queensland children?”