Minister’s cold shoulder to grieving grandparents

“It is totally unacceptable that the Minister responsible for reforming South Australia’s beleaguered child protection system has failed to respond to this anguished cry for help from Amber and Korey’s grandparents,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.

“Whilst simple decency demands a sympathetic response, the fact the Minister wasn’t interested in the grandparents understanding of how this tragedy unfolded is equally unacceptable.

“Rather than shunning the grieving grandparents the Minister should have embraced them and
sought to learn from their experience.

“The Minister’s failure also highlights the need for a Commissioner for Children and Young People.

“A decade after the Layton Report first recommended the establishment of a Children’s
Commissioner the time for excuses and delays are over.

“There is significant community support for the creation of a Children’s Commissioner and the
potential for significant improvement of South Australia’s dysfunctional child protection system from independent oversight.

“Had a Children’s Commissioner bee
n in place it is possible that the systemic failures that contributed to the deaths of Amber Rigney, Korey Mitchell, Chloe Valentine and Baby Ebony would not have occurred.

“Worried family and friends who are being ignored by Government Ministers or Families SA would have the option of taking their concerns to the Children’s Commissioner.

“The creation of a Commissioner for Children would be a significant step in addressing the Weatherill Government’s endemic failure on child protection in South Australia.

“The State Liberals support the creation a truly independent Commissioner for Children with the
power to reach into ministerial offices, Families SA and the wider government bureaucracy to ensure child protection is afforded the highest priority.”