Labor’s Child Protection Shame

Labor’s Child Protection Shame

Victoria Shadow Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge

Incompetent Minister Must Explain Why Files Of At Risk Children Were Closed

Victor P Taffa

Hundreds of children at risk had their cases closed only to have neglect or abuse subsequently proven within weeks or months, in another child protection scandal overseen by Minister for Community Services Lisa Neville, Shadow Minister Mary Wooldridge said today.

Freedom of Information documents reveal that 408 cases of abuse and neglect in Victoria were substantiated within 90 days of being closed, with the Loddon Mallee Region having the highest number in the state.

“Children who are in danger have been reported to the government, but instead of getting the care and protection they need, the Brumby Government has left them in abusive situations.” Ms. Wooldridge said.



“Staff in the Brumby Government’s Child Protection System are overworked, overloaded and under-resourced, and as a result assessments and decision making is compromised.”

“The scandal of Labor’s incompetence and mismanagement of Victoria’s child protection system is only getting worse under Premier John Brumby.”

“The system is in crisis and the victims are children and young people who rely on the government for their safety.”

“John Brumby should be ashamed. Instead he arrogantly pretends that everything is fine.”

“The minister must explain how the Brumby Government’s child protection system has gotten it so wrong for so many children.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

The Minister has accused the Opposition of being political by repeatedly highlighting her failure to protect vulnerable children. However the Ombudsman reported that the Brumby Governments accountability in child protection lacks transparency and rigour and gets little external scrutiny.

“If Lisa Neville and Labor won’t ensure abused and neglected children are protected, the Opposition will continue to highlight the failings of the Brumby Government until they do so.” Ms. Wooldridge said.