Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Reports expose Beattie doing child protection on the cheap

Two authoritative reports released recently clearly outline serious shortfalls in the Queensland child protection system, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today.

“The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently released their report Child protection Australia 2002-03 that shows Queensland has the highest rate of children subject to a substantiated incident of child abuse or neglect of any Australian State or Territory.

“The number of children in Queensland subject to a substantiation per 1,000 children is 10.1 compared to 1.8 in Tasmania or 1.9 in Western Australia.

“On top of this, Queensland is the only State to record a steady increase in the rates of substantiation, going from 4.2 in 1996-97 to 10.1 in 2002-03.

“Last week, the Productivity Commission released their Report on Government Services 2004 showing that Queensland spends less per child in the child protection system than any other State or Territory.

“In 2002-03, total expenditure on child protection per investigation ranged from $7,061 in Victoria to just $2,767 in Queensland.

“Total expenditure on child protection per substantiation in 2002-03 ranged from $17,899 in the Northern Territory to $5,938 in Queensland.

“Peter Beattie’s spin that this election is about getting a mandate for child protection issues is a furphy. He has had an overwhelming majority in the Queensland Parliament for the last six years and bi-partisan support on the bulk of these issues.

“These statistics speak for themselves. Queensland Labor have failed children at risk and they should be called to account for it at the ballot box on 7 February,” Mr Anthony said.