This week in Parliament, Labor’s Minister for Child Protection, Luke Donnellan, was asked whether any staff from within Child Protection had been seconded to other roles in the State’s pandemic response.
In response, the Minister said: –
“Let us be very clear: in terms of the total number of people employed in child protection, it has never actually been higher.”
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services released its 2019-2020 annual report.
The report reveals a reduction of 71 staff within Child Protection from 2,271 in June 2019 to 2,200 in June 2020, directly contradicting the Minister’s remarks.
This has come to light at the same time as a report released yesterday by the Victorian Ombudsman which identified found significant and systemic failures in Victoria’s Child Protection residential care system.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Nick Wakeling:
“The Andrews Labor Government has failed to prioritise Child Protection in its pandemic response.
“Protecting Victoria’s most vulnerable children is a central responsibility for any government.
“The Minister’s comments show that he either does not know the staffing levels within Child Protection or is happy to play cheap politics with such an important issue.”