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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Medicare. Kevin Rudd speaking

there. Now, today the Greens

will launch a bid to establish

a Commonwealth commissioner for

young children and young

people. For more, Senator

Sarah Hanson-Young joins us

Sarah Hanson-Young joins us now

from Sydney. Good morning. Good

morning. There are State and

Territory children

commissioners right across the

country. Why do you think we

need a Commonwealth

one? Because there is no

consistency with the types of

issues or the response to

children's welfare. There's

obviously issues on a national

level as well that the Federal

Government is responsible for

for children but there's no single body

single body to protect them,

advocate for them or even hear

their views. What issues do

you say are being met with inconsistency? There are a

number of issues where young

people are falling between the

cracks. We just need to look at

the statistics of homelessness.

The largest group of those who

are homeless in Australia fall

We need to between the ages of 12 and 18.

We need to do much more in

relation to that the levels of children who have had confirmed

cases of neglect or abuse in

the last 12 months is somewhere

in the vicinity of 33,000.

Having some type of peak

national voice and ability for

advocacy and really ensuring

that children's rights are

Federal Government and the promoted both within the

various legislation that the responsible for, Federal Government's

responsible for, but really,

working with the States to make

sure we do have national

consistency. We have numbers of

young people in juvenile detention simply because they

have nowhere else to go, not

necessarily because they're

young criminals there is a lot

of work to be done. Stepping

back and having a look at how

we value kids, the next falling generation. Australia is

falling behind. The UN

committee that looks into the

countries who've signed up to

the convention of the rights of

the child said in 2005

Australia needs to implement a

national body or individual to

look after children's rights.

That was the recommendation in

2005. So this Bill is really

about putting kids before politics. I'm asking all

politics. I'm asking all the

parties to think about how we

value children and the next

generation. Let's invest in

them now. Given that we do have

those States and Territory children's commissioners in

place, let's assume they take

their job seriously and that we

have State authorities

overwhelmed when it comes to

child protective services, they

don't have the staff in place to deal with those issues that

you mentioned about abuse and

you mentioned about abuse and

homelessness, how would another

layer of bureaucracy, a

Commonwealth commissioner, make

any difference? I think partly

it's because there is no-one at

the moment speaking for the

rights of children and young

people at at a federal level.

But there doesn't need to be if

they're being spoken for at a

State and Territory level? They

do. If they're having a Federal

Government that's advocating

Government that's advocating

for a homelessness program a

Federal Government who is

responsible for detaining unaccompanied minors who

company here without visas, if

we have a Federal Government

who wants to implement

educational standards

across-the-board, then we also

need a Federal Government

having somebody who is

responsible on a national level

for advocating for young people

and to give them a voice. If

country who are we do have States around the

country who are struggling to

be able to be resourced and

manage child protection, let's

have somebody advocating that

the Federal Government needs to

be helping out more. Just

quickly and finally, what do

you make of the deal that the Greens have struck in Tasmania.

Are they compromising Greens'

independence by getting on board with the other Labor

Cabinet? I think it's a really historic and wonderful step

forward for the Greens. The

fact that we now have

fact that we now have ...

They're co-opted into a Labor

Government? The fact that we

now have an opportunity to

prove that we are able to take

on those responsibilities of

ministries and really work

towards a elaborative approach.

Whether it's in local

governments or we have Greens

as mayors or deputy mayors or councillors, right through now to obviously the Greens being

in a shared balance of power

now we have situation in the Senate, and

now we have green ministers, I

think this is really showing

that the Greens are able to add

more than just scrutinising

legislation from the sidelines.

We can really be in there and

delivering outcomes. Let's she

what outcomes are delivered by

that strange cobbling together

of players. Good to talk to you

this morning, thanks so