Commissioner for Children and Young People launches inquiry after another child protection failure

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Commissioner for Children and Young People
launches inquiry after another child protection

The Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Liana Buchanan, has called an
investigation into the failure by the Allan Government to provide proper care to a 12-yearold girl who was later charged with fatally stabbing a woman.

This comes as new figures reveal 125 reports were made to the commissioner over the past
nine months relating to child sexual exploitation within the child protection system, with the
numbers being labelled as “appalling” by Ms Buchanan.

Furthermore, the state’s first commissioner, Bernie Geary, warned of exploitation in 2015
and says not enough has been done, calling the state “a terrible parent, and when a child is
parented badly, we can’t expect anything positive to come out of that”.

Due to Labor’s budget mismanagement, spending per child has decreased from $91,468 in
2017-18 to $84,446 in 2022-23. If spending had instead increased by CPI, an additional
$19,737 would have been spent per child in 2022-23.

Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Roma Britnell, said: “Once again we have a shocking
wake-up call about the exploitation occurring to the state’s most vulnerable.

“Labor claim to be spending more on child protection. The fact is, they are spending less per
child. But there are more children in the system, so Labor is pulling the wool over Victorians’
eyes and misleading our community by saying they are increasing funding.

“In State Parliament last year, I moved a motion to establish a comprehensive inquiry into
the child protection system, which was voted down by Labor.

“We cannot continue to allow horrific instances of abuse to occur in the State’s care system,
with children being exploited, criminalised and sexually abused, or dying in care. Labor
should reconsider this decision as a matter of urgency.”

Roma Britnell MP
Member for South West Coast
Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight
Shadow Minister for Child Protection
Shadow Minister for Boating and Fishing

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