The Opposition has called on the Minister for Child Protection Simone McGurk to resign.
Opposition Leader Mia Davies moved a motion in Parliament calling for the Minister to stand down, citing a litany of failures that left the Department in a state of chaos and crisis.
“The Minister has failed to act on reports completed over two years ago that raised serious concerns about ‘wide-scale and endemic racism’ within the Department,” Ms Davies said.
“The Department is also failing to meet its own child safety KPIs and has been described by its own employees as siloed and having lost a sense of humanness.
“Finally, we’ve seen the shocking raid on an employee’s home by police, who have later decided not to pursue charges because the matter was not deemed to be in the public interest.”
Ms Davies said the Minister and the Premier’s failure to answer basic questions in Parliament today regarding the raid was also a sign of incompetence, or worse, avoidance.
“At the very least, the Government should have had the timeline of events at their fingertips, it’s been a significant issue impacting the Department,” Ms Davies said.
Leader of the WA Liberals Dr David Honey said Minister Simone McGurk had failed in her role and it was untenable for her to continue.
“The Premier should not continue to protect this Minister when her Department is failing to meet crucial targets, including those relating to child protection,” Dr Honey said.
“There are seriously concerning issues facing her Department, including systemic racism, chronic under resourcing, missing children in the Department’s care, complaints of unsafe working conditions, a toxic culture and staff walking off the job due to overworked caseloads.
“Staff exposing these issues should not be subject to witch-hunts or raids from Minister McGurk’s Department – the raid was an act of intimidation.
“I call on Minister McGurk to resign and failing that, the Premier must dismiss her immediately.”
Shadow Child Protection Minister Nick Goiran said the McGowan Government must take responsibility for amalgamating child protection into the mega-department of Communities.
“Enough is enough, this Minister has had five years to get on top of her portfolio and the result is a child protection system in a worse state,” Mr Goiran said.
“The Premier should spend less time playing ego-games with billionaires and more time accepting responsibility for the child protection crisis his Government has created.”