· Fentiman knew 12 months ago child safety officers couldn’t get to kids in danger but did nothing
· In that time five young Queensland lives have been lost on the Minister’s watch
· Today’s announcement is too little too late and phoney Fentiman must go
One long, tragic year after being warned by her Director General that her Department was failing to adequately protect Queensland children, embattled Palaszczuk Government Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman has finally been forced to provide extra resources to child safety services.
Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said today’s announcement was too little, too late for five young Queenslanders that have died in care under the Minister’s watch.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Shannon Fentiman have been dragged kicking and screaming into finally admitting there are deep problems within our child safety system,” Ms Bates said.
“The LNP has been saying our children are in danger, her own Director General warned her in October 2015 that hard-working frontline staff were dangerously stretched, but this Minister didn’t act.
“Shannon Fentiman knew 12 months ago that her officers weren’t able to get to kids in danger but did nothing, and in that time five young lives have been lost on her watch.
“Why has it taken a year for her to do something, when every day and second counts for a child in danger?
“It’s simply not good enough for her to try to play catch up with children’s lives.”
Ms Bates said in the first 18 months in government, Labor had ripped over $7 million from frontline child safety offices statewide and left 20 frontline child safety officer positions vacant.
“After doing nothing for 18 months except cutting money from the frontline, this desperate Minister is now resorting to peddling lies about the former government,” 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.
“Fentiman is a fraud and a phoney and must go.”