The latest developments in the Tiahleigh Palmer case have sparked Queensland Opposition calls for a Rapid Response Investigation into the Department of Child Safety.
On Saturday News Corp revealed that murder accused foster carer Richard Thorburn faced other charges relating the care of children.
Shadow Child Safety Minister and Member for Mudgeeraba Ros Bates said serious questions were being raised about the operations of the current child protection system that could only be addressed by an external, independent investigation.
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“The situation has become so urgent, it’s time this Government finally took some real action and commenced a rapid response investigation into failings of the Department and foster care system,” Ms Bates said.
“Most foster families are doing a great job, but sadly more and more cases are emerging where the system is letting down our most vulnerable children and big questions need to be answered.
“There is something gravely wrong with the system as it stands – we don’t want promises of action in six months, or in twelve months, we want action right now.”
Ms Bates questioned Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman’s reluctance to act on issues within the foster care system, which were raised with her Department back in April.
“Why did it take five months and widespread media reports for the Minister to finally come clean and acknowledge real failings within the system she’s in charge of?
“What else does the Minister know that she isn’t telling Queenslanders?
“Shannon Fentiman needs to step up and ensure Queenslanders, for the sake of the 9000 children in care, that the system put in place to protect them is doing so.
“The LNP has a strong track record in child safety, having invested $406 million into the system following the Commission of Inquiry.
“If resources aren’t making it through to the front line, the Minister needs to take responsibility and fix it urgently.
“We have a child safety system that is in crisis – it deserves an immediate, acute response now.”