Minister for Families and Children - No Confidence Motion - concluding remards (22.2.2017)

Written on the 23 March 2017

22 February 2017


Minister for Families and Children 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)


I am very pleased to make some concluding remarks in relation to the motion that I moved a couple of weeks ago. This has been, as we have heard, a debate that has put forward various positions regarding the management of youth justice. Can I say in my summing up that this motion is about the minister's failing in her capacity to take responsibility in her role as the minister who oversees youth justice. What we have seen in youth justice has been a system in disarray for many, many months.

I remind members that this motion was brought about because of the multiple riots that have caused extensive damage and destruction costing millions of dollars to the taxpayer. WorkCover claims increased by over 50 per cent in 2016. I note that government members kept referring to the 2010 Ombudsman's report, but in actual fact that was undertaken under the watch of a former minister, Lisa Neville, in the former Labor government. Can I remind members that in 2014 the Victorian Ombudsman said that the Victorian coalition's improvements have 'had an impact on youth justice services for children that have been both effective and commendable'. These are the facts, not the facts that government members have tried to put during the debate in their references to the 2010 report that referred to the mess under the former Labor government.

Youth workers have been targeted with threats and assaults and have been under severe stress for many, many months. In fact the Victorian Public Sector Commission found in January this year that 11 youth justice workers in Victoria had been cut by the Andrews government. That is also a fact.

We have also seen the mass escape from Malmsbury that occurred during January, the security issue and the botched legal process overseen by this minister and the Werribee decision where no consultation has taken place for the new site there. These events have caused this youth justice system to be in total disarray. In fact the whole notion of youth justice is not happening, and that is the point of this motion. This is not about the minister herself; this is about the minister's responsibility. This litany of disasters that have occurred under the watch of the minister is why this motion has come about. It is a very serious proposition that has been put in place. That is why I moved the motion. That is why I have highlighted those areas of failure in speaking to this motion.

Can I say in conclusion, if this litany is the line that the government members go on, if this is the track record that they think their minister should stand by, then goodness me, I do not know how the rest of you can think that you are doing a good job. I commend the motion to the house.

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