• Petrusma claims to have 45 additional officers but doesn’t know where they are
• Minister incapable of backing up her claim of more workers on the frontline
Child Protection Minister Jacquie Petrusma has been unable to back up her claim that more and more child protection officers have been employed over the past four years after being questioned in Budget Estimates hearings today.
Shadow Children’s Minister Josh Willie said Mrs Petrusma was three times given the opportunity to provide a breakdown of the roles and locations of each of the 45 new child protection staff she claims have come on board during her time as Minister and three times failed to provide an answer.
On May 17 Mrs Petrusma told the ABC:
“… the fact is there are 45 more child safety services staff now, than there were in December 2013.”
“The fact is figures from Mrs Petrusma’s own Human Services Department show more than 30 per cent of all child safety workers are carrying more child protection cases than they can handle,” Mr Willie said.
“Today Mrs Petrusma failed to provide an answer to a very simple question and give detail of where those officers are located and what responsibilities they have.
“If she were able to provide evidence of her claims, that’s the sort of information she should have at her fingertips.
“The Minister claimed she could not do so because she cannot access data from three years ago in relation to staff numbers.
“If the Minister cannot access that data, how can she possibly claim with any accuracy that staff numbers have increased?”
Josh Willie MLC Shadow Housing, Disability and Children Minister