‘What the hell was Child Services doing’
AN EMOTIONAL Deb Frecklington has fired up about the tragic death of a baby girl on the Gold Coast, demanding to know "what the hell" Child Safety were doing allowing the infant to live in a tent with her homeless parents.
Child Safety is under the spotlight after it was revealed the family's rough living circumstances were well-known to the department before the little girl was found dead on Surfers Paradise beach in the early hours of Monday.
The LNP leader said today the State Government had a lot of questions to answer.
"This is a police matter and we do need police to carry out their investigations which they are doing," Ms Frecklington told reporters.
"But this is just such a tragically sad case and I believe the Government has a lot of questions that need answering.
"If this baby was living in a tent on a beach and Child Services knew about it, what the hell were they doing leaving that child there?
"If that baby was known to authorities to be living in a tent on a beach, why was she left there? Where is the Government in relation to this? We know the police are doing everything they can to investigate this tragic circumstance but this is the loss of a little baby, a little baby girl nine months old.
"I just cannot stand to think that authorities knew about this and left that poor defenceless little girl in this situation. It just seriously breaks my heart."
Ms Frecklington said keeping families together "should be the first starting point" but protecting children should be the priority.
"It is always obviously good to try to keep families together, that should be the first starting point," she said.
"But not when the circumstances are such that they're living in a tent on the beach and authorities know about it. We need to be doing everything we can to protect our kids.
"There is a safer spot for that baby to have been, whether it's in a foster family or with another set of adults that would have … cared for that child. There are many people out there that are willing to help and love and care for children.
"It is never OK to leave a child in a circumstance where the authorities and Child Safety Minister knows that it is not the right circumstance. And in this one, it has ended in utter tragedy."