Child protection report into State Government’s handling of sexual abuse of two children to be dealt with as ‘matter of urgency’


It’s unknown how much of a report into the Child Protection Department’s handling of the sexual abuse of two children in state care will be made public.

Premier Steven Marshall says the child protection report will be dealt with as a matter or urgency.
Premier Steven Marshall says the child protection report will be dealt with as a matter or urgency.

    Premier Steven Marshall says a report into the Child Protection Department’s handling of the sexual abuse of two children in state care will be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

    It came as investigator and former judge Paul Rice handed Attorney-General Vickie Chapman his report into the shocking cases on Tuesday afternoon.

    The document is now expected to be considered by Cabinet.

    While the government last week refused to commit to releasing the report, Mr Marshall on Monday gave the strongest indication yet that at least parts of it will be made public.

    “Ultimately that (report) is something that is something which will come to Cabinet before a general release, whether that be the entire report or a redacted version,” he said.

    “Always, we’ve got to be very mindful of the privacy of the two vulnerable young girls who were the subject of this review.”

    The investigation was launched in December last year after it was revealed that two 13-year-old girls in state care had fallen pregnant and Child Protection Minster Rachel Sanderson conceded she was not aware of either case until two men convicted of sexually abusing the girls were sentenced in court.

    Mr Marshall said the government would “absolutely” be addressing the report as a matter of urgency but would not put a timeline on when it could be released.

    “We have said from day one that governments need to be accountable,” he said.

    “In this situation we were not informed. We expected to be informed about these types of things … and we wanted to know why and that’s why we instigated this … investigation.”

    Opposition child protection spokeswoman Katrine Hildyard said the government must release the report immediately.

    She pointed out that the Liberals, when in Opposition in 2016, expected the Nyland Report into the child protection system be released straight away.

    Ms Chapman, then-the deputy Opposition leader, issued a media released the day after the Nyland Report was handed to the-then Labor Government, accusing it of “playing politics with children protection” after it “decided to withhold the finding of the Royal Commission”.

    “The Weatherill Government received the report on Friday but will not release it until Monday,” the media release stated.

    Ms Hildyard said any elements of the report that identified the children involved should be redacted “but every operational matter, every finding about the systemic failings that led to this terrible situation occurring in the first place absolutely must be released”.

    “Our community deserves an open and transparent government,” she said.

    (Source)


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