Every child, at risk of serious harm or not, deserves to be raised in a safe and secure family.
We believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people deserve to raised in a safe and secure environment.
We believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people have every right to be connected to their community and culture.
Given the turbulent history of this issue within Australia, the accusations aimed at the Christian Democratic Party are alarming, and based on a misconception of the legislation.
We believe in doing everything we can to protect our children.
We must give every child the opportunity to live their dreams and to achieve their goals in their life.
The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, Sect 5.12 states that:
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, kinship groups, representative organisations and communities are to be given the opportunity, by means approved by the Minister, to participate in decisions made concerning the placement of their children and young persons and in other significant decisions made under this Act that concern their children and young persons.”
Further to this, this same Act clearly identifies placement principles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. Permanency placement, or adoption, is a last resort for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
Guardians who agree to provide care for vulnerable children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, are required by law to abide by any contact orders.
Should a guardian should break the contact order then a parent has the ability to take the matter back before the court.
The CDP has a strong record of support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This includes Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC casting the final vote in support the introduction of Aboriginal Land Rights in our state, back in 1983.
Legislation relating to the wellbeing of our children is something we cannot afford to get wrong, especially when children are placed in a vulnerable position due to no fault of their own.
We must ensure the care of children and young people always focuses on their best interests.
For the record we would love for every child and young person to be raised with their biological parents. However if that fails, and a parent disqualifies themselves from taking on that care, then our role is to seek to ensure that these kids get the best possible future with a loving family.
Every child deserves to be placed in a safe and stable home, away from serious risk, giving the child or young person the best opportunity to live a happy and vibrant life in the meantime.
We do not want to see children languishing in care when they have a right to a home and a childhood.