Labor initiates major child protection reform: parents with serious violent convictions against their children to automatically have future children removed

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The NSW Opposition has today announced a major child protection reform proposal that would ensure a parent or guardian with a previous conviction for a serious violent offence against their own child would have any future children automatically removed from them. 

“There is no higher duty for the state than to protect our children. It is my strong belief our child protection measures need to change,” Opposition Leader Luke Foley said.

“NSW Labor is proposing a change to the law to ensure that a parent or guardian with a previous conviction for a serious violent offence against their own child will automatically have future children removed from them.

“Last week I met with the mother of Ikicia Leach who was murdered at seven weeks old by her own father. I also met with the maternal grandparents of Bailey Constable, who was killed by his step father Nathan Forrest at four years of age.

“Speaking with these grieving families has convinced me of the urgency of this proposed reform.

“We simply cannot allow parents who have taken the life of an innocent child through either murder or neglect to have the chance to harm another child.”

In South Australia in 2012, four year old Chloe Valentine was killed after being repeatedly forced by her mother and her mother’s partner to ride and crash a 50 kg motorbike.

Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Tania Mihailuk said: “The South Australian State Coroner made a total of 21 recommendations to prevent other children suffering from the kind of neglect and harm as Chloe Valentine suffered at the hands of her mother and mother’s partner.

“The tragic cases of Chloe Valentine, Ikicia Leach, and Bailey Constable have moved NSW Labor to act.

“That is why NSW Labor is today releasing a Child Protection Reform Discussion Paper, and beginning a process of consultation with a range of stakeholders, interest groups and child protection experts.

“NSW Labor will also convene a Child Protection Roundtable to discuss the best way forward for child protection reform in this state.

“For the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes there can be no second chances.

“We owe it to Ikicia, to Bailey, and to Chloe to do everything in our power to protect children in the future from these types of offenders.”

Please find Labor's discussion paper here.