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Thursday, 17 December 1992
Page: 4048


Mr MACK —I rise to support the honourable member for Bennelong (Mr Howard), who on 15 October called for an investigation into the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services. The honourable member for Bennelong raised an horrific case of child abuse which was ventilated in the Australian newspaper on 6 April 1991 and on 9 May 1992. This case involved repeated beatings and sexual abuse of a child. Prejudice and bias were shown by officers of the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services against the father when he made efforts to protect his child.

  Through the efforts of the then Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Bowen, a degree of justice was obtained in the Family Court in 1986 when custody of the child was awarded to the father. While the father realises that the great injustice and harm done to his son can never be corrected, he cannot accept that the attitudes and actions of the officers of the Department of Family and Community Services which made much of this possible should be allowed to continue. Authorities in New South Wales under both ALP and coalition administrations have so far ignored the father's repeated pleas for an inquiry. The New South Wales Ombudsman refuses to investigate, pleading lack of resources. It is a sickening story of prejudice, maladministration and character assassination and the truth must be uncovered.