The Baillieu Government’s extraordinary admission that it will no longer publically discuss child protection cases will leave Victorians in the dark about our most vulnerable children, Shadow Minister for Child Safety, Luke Donnellan said.
“Mr Baillieu promised to be open and accountable but his latest move to shut down public scrutiny on child protection cases betrays that commitment,” Mr Donnellan said.
“It’s shameful that Mr Baillieu is pulling down the shutters so he won’t have to discuss any future stuff ups by Mary Wooldridge, the Minister who is supposed to be responsible for Community Services.
“Victorians have a right to know how the Baillieu Government is dealing with the child welfare system.
“Instead Mr Baillieu is shutting down debate and discussion, stifling scrutiny to protect his own Government rather than Victorian children.
“Victorians have a right to know what is happening, if the system is working and what can be learnt so the system can be improved.
“There are ways to discuss cases without identifying children and Mr Baillieu knows this.
“There should be nothing more important to Mr Baillieu than protecting Victoria’s most vulnerable children.”
Mr Donnellan said Ms Wooldridge and Mr Baillieu were only too happy to discuss child protection cases when they were in Opposition.
“Ms Wooldridge is taking a hands-off approach to her portfolio,” he said.
“Is she now saying that as the Minister it’s not her responsibility to protect vulnerable children?”
“Ms Wooldridge has learnt very quickly it’s easier to ask questions than to answer them.
“We’ve already seen her struggle to answer questions about cases showing the system failed yet now she’s saying ‘don’t bother asking me about these because I’m not going to answer them’.
“We already know the Minister isn’t reading critical reports, and asked her department not to send up briefs without permission. Now she’s refusing to discuss cases.”