- Landmark LNP laws to protect Queensland’s youngest children pass State Parliament
- LNP law will make it mandatory for childcare workers to report cases of suspected child abuse
- Townsville’s John and Sue Sandeman’s dedicated five-year fight for “Mason’s Law” over
Queensland’s youngest and most vulnerable children will be better protected after the LNP Opposition successfully passed laws which make it mandatory for early childhood workers to report suspected cases of child abuse.
Shadow Minister for Education Tracy Davis said the passing of the Child Protection (Mandatory Reporting – Mason’s Law) Amendment Bill 2016 will extend mandatory reporting obligations to include workers in early childhood education and care, bringing Queensland in line with other States and territories.
“Young children under five are still developing their own voice and rely heavily on those that care for them for protection, so it’s crucial we take every possible measure to ensure their safety and wellbeing,” Ms Davis said.
“Mandatory reporting laws are an important part of the Queensland child protection system and are critical in detecting serious cases of child abuse that might otherwise go unnoticed.
“Western Australia is now the only remaining jurisdiction that doesn’t identify the early childhood education and care sector as mandatory reporters.”
Ms Davis said the new laws would never have come about without a long-running and dedicated campaign by John and Sue Sandeman, the grandparents of toddler Mason Parker who was tragically murdered in 2011, and who have been calling for these laws ever since.
“I’m privileged and honoured to have been the Member of Parliament who was finally able to bring John and Sue’s passionate fight for these laws to fruition,” she said.
“The Sandemans are very special people, and while these laws will never heal the pain of having lost their little grandson, they will help to ensure other vulnerable little ones don’t suffer in silence.
“On behalf of Queensland Parliament I pay tribute to John and Sue for fighting every day for so many years to do what is right and to honour the memory of little Mason.
“These laws will empower the dedicated workers in our childcare centres to speak up for the children entrusted to their care each day.”