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Coalition says 'no' to a Children's Commissioner



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UNCLASSIFIED

THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management

MEDIA RELEASE

25 June 2012

COALITION SAYS ‘NO’ TO A CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER

In another display of mindless negativity the Coalition has today voted against the establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner.

Proving that they stand for nothing other than ‘no’ the Coalition flip flopped from their earlier support of this Bill in the House and voted against it in the Senate.

“It’s disappointing that the Coalition’s unrelenting negativity has seen them vote against an initiative that will help and support Australia’s children and young people,” Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said.

“The Coalition voted to support this Bill in the House and at Senate Committee stage, including having speakers in support yet voted against it at the last minute in the Senate. This just shows the Liberal leadership can’t bring themselves to support good policy even when their own backbenchers support it.

“Unlike the Coalition, Labor is doing all we can to give kid’s the best start in life.

“Our children are our future and if we do not value them, we cannot ever hope to protect them, that’s why for the first time, the Gillard Labor Government is establishing a dedicated advocate focused on the human rights of children and young people at a national level.

“A National Children’s Commissioner will give children and young people a voice on the national stage.

“Promoting the rights, wellbeing and development of Australia’s children and young people is a fundamental priority for the Gillard Government.

“Importantly the National Children’s Commissioner will have a clear focus on vulnerable or at-risk groups of children, such as children with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, homeless children or those who are witnessing or subjected to violence.”

The National Children’s Commissioner will take a broad advocacy role to:  promote public awareness of issues affecting children,  conduct research and education programs,  consult directly with children and representative organisations; and  monitor Commonwealth legislation, policies and programs that relate to

children’s rights, wellbeing and development.

The Government will call for expressions of interest for the position shortly with the new Commissioner expected to take office by the end of 2012.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on 0409 945 476