The Greens have called on the State Government to dump their fatally flawed child protection bill and go back to the drawing board on child protection law reforms. The Greens call echoes those made this week by the newly formed alliance of child protection community sector and legal groups highly critical of the Weatherill Government’s Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017.
The alliance consists of: The Law Society of South Australia, South Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Medical Association SA, Child and Family Welfare Association of SA, The Council for the Care of Children, Youth Affairs Council of SA and The Child Protection Reform Movement.
SA Greens MLC Tammy Franks stated: “Here we go again, the Weatherill Government have put spin above substance and are serving up a bill that the child protection sector has given a resounding fail. The Legislative Council should also fail this broken bill and force the Government to bring back legislation that will serve the children and families of this state not potentially make the situation worse.
“Child protection has been a debacle and a disgrace in this state, no one would argue that we don’t need reform, but we’ve been told the expert advocates in the business of protecting and supporting children and families that this bill will make things worse not better.
“Minister Rau is now tinkering with a broken bill that did not truly listen to warnings from the sector that it would make things worse. He’s served the Upper House up a dog’s breakfast when we should be seeing a MasterChef meal. His attitude to child safety law reform is unpalatable.
“It is unacceptable to allow shoddy legislation through one House of Parliament, we should not put children at risk by letting it pass another Chamber,” Ms. Franks said.
The Bill has also been the subject of inquiry by an Upper House Child Protection Select Committee which is expected to report in coming days. Ms. Franks was a member of that Select Committee.
Media Comment: Ms. Franks will be in the Old Chamber Foyer (SA Parliament) at 1:30pm today, 9 May, 2017.