Minister Must Resign

Minister Must Resign

Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Child Protection Robyn Lambley

Vatskalis Misleads Parliament

Victor P Taffa

Children and Families Minister, Kon Vatskalis, has deliberately and wilfully misled the Northern Territory Parliament over his plans to strip the Ombudsman of her powers to investigate Child Protection matters.

“Yesterday, Minister Vatskalis, verballed the Ombudsman when he claimed she was satisfied with his decision to prevent her from investigating child protection issues.” Shadow Minister for Child Protection Robyn Lambley said today.

“Today, the Minister repeated the claim in Parliament, asserting the Ombudsman was ‘reassured’ about the changes and that she ‘supported’ them.” Ms. Lambley said.

 

“This is in stark contrast to the comments made by the Ombudsman who said she had been:

‘… referred to as supporting the arrangements … that is not correct.’

“Minister Vatskalis has failed Territorians on three counts.” Ms. Lambley said.

“Firstly, by attacking the Ombudsman, he has tried to strip one of the pillars of democracy of its powers essentially muzzling a watchdog.”

“Secondly, he has clearly misled Territorians about the Ombudsman’s response to her powers being slashed in the hope that she could be bullied into submission.”

“Finally, he has failed Territory children in care.” Ms. Lambley said.

“Four months after the release of the damning Growing Them Strong, Together report highlighted a ‘tsunami of need’ in child protection the Henderson Government wants to nobble the Ombudsman’s capacity to investigate issues associated with children in care.”

“Minister Vatskalis’ integrity has been badly damaged by events of recent days.” Ms. Lambley said.

“It was telling the Chief Minister chose not to defend his Minister when he came under attack from Opposition members in Parliament this evening.”

“Kon Vatskalis failed to provide a response as to why he misled the Parliament. The Chief Minister must hold him to account.” Ms. Lambley said.