Victoria Shadow Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge
Neville Must Explain Why Our Most Vulnerable Are Suffering
Upper House Committee Recalled For Community Services Hearing
Victor P Taffa
Shadow Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said she has written to the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration requesting that the Parliamentary committee be recalled and conduct a hearing into the Department of Human Services’ ongoing crisis and failure to protect vulnerable Victorians in its care.
On Monday it was revealed that a grandmother was forced to speak out about the treatment of her granddaughters by DHS and about Lisa Neville’s disinterest in ensuring the safety of the children.
Last night it was confirmed that DHS was aware that the children were in contact with a known sex offender, placing them in harm’s way. Following a damming news report DHS then denied this was the case.
“This is unacceptable and Premier John Brumby can no longer ignore the crisis in the child protection System.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
“Children are suffering because of the mismanagement of the child protection system by Lisa Neville and this Labor Government.”
“Victorians deserve answers from Lisa Neville about why the Brumby Government continues to neglect vulnerable people who rely on the government for their care and protection. I urge Lisa Neville to appear before the committee and provide answers.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
A number of recent cases have highlighted a litany of serious failures by the Department of Human Services in child protection and disability services. Examples include the alleged rape of women in a DHS Community Residential Unit, the placing of a young autistic boy in child protection in temporary accommodation where he was sexually assaulted, the dumping of an intellectually disabled man on the side of the Princes Freeway and the failure of DHS to apply for a supervision order for three young girls who had previously been removed from their mothers’ care.
“These stories are examples of John Brumby’s failure to protect our most vulnerable, and they reveal a government that after 11 years is tired and incompetent, and a minister who no longer cares.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
“Lisa Neville has failed in her duty of care and abandoned those who rely upon the government to provide protection and support in times of need.” Ms. Wooldridge said.