Is Protecting Children More About Protecting The Henderson Government?

Is Protecting Children More About Protecting The Henderson Government?

Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Child Protection Robyn Lambley

Labor Gags Ombudsman

Victor P Taffa

The Henderson Government is preparing to silence one of the Territory’s foremost advocates for Child Protection.

Shadow Minister for Child Protection Robyn Lambley said this latest attempt to gag public scrutiny is an appalling new twist in the Government’s sorry legacy of Protecting Children in care in the Northern Territory.

“An amendment proposed by the Henderson Government to the Care and Protection of Children Act prevents the Ombudsman from investigating anything that can be investigated by the Children’s Commissioner.” Ms. Lambley said.

 

“This includes all services provided to vulnerable children and any matter that may form the grounds for a complaint against child protection workers or the agency as a whole.”

“At the same time, the Government is only providing the Children’s Commissioner with limited own motion investigative powers, which means there will be still areas outside the authority of both offices to investigate.” Ms. Lambley said.

“In other words, the powers they’re taking away from the Ombudsman, they are not giving in their entirety to the Children’s Commissioner.”

“The Country Liberals will oppose any attempt to gag or curtail the investigative capacities of the Office of the Ombudsman, and will not support legislation that does not provide the Children’s Commissioner with adequate own motion powers.” Ms. Lambley said.

“The Government is undoubtedly dreading the findings of the Ombudsman’s report into child protection, coming on the tale of the scathing Growing Them Strong, Together report.”

“That report highlighted the considerable, systemic failures over many years of the child protection system and it appears the Government is attempting to stifle any further criticism that it sees as politically damaging.”

“It’s typical of this paranoid Government’s dislike of scrutiny that it will put its own political interests ahead of the welfare of children in care.” Ms. Lambley said.