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Vulnerable young Tasmanians deserve a serious, considered response

  • Recent focus on child protection should be the start of positive change
  • Government’s simplistic reaction doesn’t address embedded issues
  • Response must be built on honest and transparency

The Liberal Government’s simplistic response to the systemic problems facing vulnerable young Tasmanians is extremely disappointing.

Shadow Minister for Child Safety Josh Willie has urged the Government to listen to people like Children’s Commissioner Mark Morrissey and other leaders in the sector.

“The stories contained in the Anglicare report into highly vulnerable teens have started an important conversation in the community,” Mr Willie said.

“As the Children’s Commissioner says, the report is not a dry research document, it’s a unique look at the trauma being experienced by Tasmanian children every day.

“As a state we have a golden opportunity to respond in a way that brings about positive change.

“The blunt, “tough on crime” response from the acting minister Rene Hidding did a disservice to the work contained in the Anglicare report.

“This is not a chance to score political points, it’s a chance for the community as a whole to reflect on how and why we are letting down at-risk young Tasmanians.

“The trauma endured by these young people does not change with the colour of the government, it remains constant.

“We must all take responsibility for the failings of the system that’s designed to protect them and pledge to do better.

“The response to the emergency in child protection needs to be built on honesty, transparency and a determination to see things improve.

“Labor stands ready to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen the safety net for vulnerable young people in Tasmania.”