5 September 2016

Andrew Barr needs to demonstrate leadership and remove Chris Bourke as Minister for Children and Young People. It follows the Minister’s unprofessional display on an ABC TV program into child protection failures in the ACT, and his previous and subsequent failure to respond and act on these issues, Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Hanson said today.

“In the program, Chris Bourke demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of child protection, was clearly out of his depth and was devoid of any knowledge of the areas he’s responsible for in child protection. Subsequently, he’s failed to front up and tell Canberrans what he’s going to do about issues in the child protection system,” Mr Hanson said.

“Andrew Barr needs to do the right thing and remove these critical responsibilities in child protection from Chris Bourke and move quickly to repair the system,” Mr Hanson concluded.

“The ABC TV program explored two terrible tragedies that highlighted how badly child protection has been managed in the ACT, despite numerous independent reports to government going back more than a decade,” Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Nicole Lawder said.

“If Andrew Barr is interested in the care of vulnerable children, he needs to send a strong message that Chris Bourke’s behaviour has demonstrated that he isn’t up to the job, and he needs to remove him as Minister for Children and Young People,” Ms Lawder concluded.

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