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Labor promises to beef up powers for Children’s Commissioner

ABC News Tasmania, February 17.

Labor is promising to introduce legislation to increase the power of the Children’s Commissioner if it wins next month’s state election.

Aileen Ashford quit as Children’s Commissioner last year and complained her role lacked the powers needed to make a difference.

The Minister for Children, Michelle O’Byrne says legislation will be introduced to strengthen the role, giving the commissioner more power to initiate inquiries and access more information.

The election commitment was made after the release of findings from an expert panel set up to review advocacy services in Tasmania.

It found the role needed to be better defined.

If re-elected, Labor say they will implement all of the recommendations in the report.

The Community and Public Sector Union’s Tom Lynch has welcomed the commitment.

“I think it will give people who are involved in the child protection system both families, workers and the not-for-profit sector, a greater degree of confidence that there is someone overseeing the whole system,” he said.

“Someone who has the power to conduct an investigation, should they believe that one should be conducted and shine a light on areas of child protection.”

Original article here.

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