Shadow Minister 'refused' entry to child safety centres

THE Shadow Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Child Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Ros Bates has accused the Palaszczuk government of refusing her access to Toowoomba's child safety centres.

Ms Bates was in town to lend her voice for the Act for Mason Toowoomba walk on Saturday, calling for a new law to better protect children and a significant change to the current system.

On Friday Ms Bates took to Facebook to say she was denied access to Toowoomba's child safety centres, and posted a photo of her and MP David Janetzki on Kitchener St.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk claims to run an open and transparent government yet as soon as her Child Safety Minister's under pressure, she shuts down any scrutiny of regional child safety centres," she said.

Ms Bates said she wrote to Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman on November 8 to request visits to Toowoomba North Child Safety Centre and Toowoomba South Child Safety Centre and was told she would not be welcome to visit on this date.

"What is Labor hiding and why won't they allow the Opposition to speak to child safety staff and view these critical front-line services?" she asked. 

"After giving plenty of notice to the government, you have to wonder why they're closing the blinds."

Director-General of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Michael Hogan said the department went to "considerable lengths" to ensure Ms Bates could visit the centres.

"She was not denied access to the Toowoomba centres, but the date she requested did not suit the relevant regional executive director who is present during such visits to support staff," he said.

"My department contacted Ms Bates' office a number of times and offered alternative dates for her to visit.

"We did everything we could to facilitate a visit."
 



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