Child protection crisis deepens

Appalling revelations that officials in the Andrews Labor Government lied to two watchdogs during investigations into the activities of a former youth worker and child rapist, and left vulnerable children at risk, should be the subject of a full inquiry.

The rapist accessed the dates of birth, addresses and phone numbers of 43 children known to child protection, before using this data to entrap and rape a 13-year-old-boy.

Both the Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Information Commissioner were assured by the Labor Government more than two years ago that all 43 children whose private information had been accessed by the convicted child rapist had been contacted.

We now know that the Government was lying. As recently as 6 weeks ago, 11 children and their families had not been contacted by the Government, and even today, six have still not been contacted. These families are not even aware that their children have been the target of a violent paedophile.

This failure by the Andrews Labor Government, and the lies to cover it up, are utterly unconscionable. They demand the immediate instigation of a full and independent inquiry.

Victorians deserve an open and transparent government – one that values accountability over cover-ups.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Matt Bach:

“I note and welcome the Ombudsman’s interest in this grave and alarming matter, and I repeat my calls for a full, independent inquiry into Victoria’s child protection system which is failing so many children.

“It is simply reprehensible that the Andrews Labor Government has lied to cover up its mistakes, placing the safety of some of our most vulnerable children at risk.”

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