CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATIONS
The Hon. R. D. DYER: I ask the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, representing the Minister for Community Services, a question without notice. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the Ombudsman's criticisms to the effect that child abuse cases have been mishandled so often by the police and the Department of Community Services that a new agency to handle these cases is warranted? What is the Government's response to the deficiencies revealed by the Ombudsman in his report?
The Hon. VIRGINIA CHADWICK: I thank the Hon. R. D. Dyer for his question. I too, like the honourable member and other members, noted the comments of the Ombudsman in the report released yesterday. Therefore I think it is somewhat unreasonable to expect a detailed ministerial, governmental or even departmental response to a report that was released only yesterday. However, I will refer the matter to my colleague for his comments, which I will report to the House.