Professor Patrick Parkinson calls for the creation of a federal child protection service

4 July 2008

Professor Patrick Parkinson of Sydney Law School has called for the creation of a federal child protection service to assist cases involving the most vulnerable children.

In an article in the Friday, 4th July 2008 edition of The Australian, Professor Parkinson is quoted as stating that such an organisation could "get to the bottom" of these such cases.

"If the Government is looking at a national child protection framework, this ought to be the first cab off the rank," he said.

Professor Parkinson asserted that the Commonwealth could take strong leadership in improving communication between child protection agencies across state borders, but warned the Government not to try to duplicate state infrastructure.

"A lot of the tragedies we've seen in the past week are tragedies for which there is no national or cross-state element, being tragedies in NSW or tragedies in Queensland.

"For better or worse, the states' systems are well established, and they have got a lot of expertise and a lot of experience in child protection," he said.

"The Commonwealth doesn't have any infrastructure or experience in child protection at this stage, so you would have to tread carefully in making sure that the Commonwealth is going to add support to the existing infrastructure and expertise, and not duplicate it."

The article stipulates that yesterday's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney agreed to do everything possible to remove impediments to government agencies providing information to child protection officers that could help them protect children.

Professor Parkinson served as the Chairperson of the Family Law Council, an advisory body to the federal Attorney-General, from 2004-2007 and is the Architect of the Federal Government's new Child Support Formula, following the Review he chaired between 2004 and 2005.

To view the entire article - National child protection framework fast-tracked

Contact: Greg Sherington

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