Report makes role appointment urgent

Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive Joanna Siejka.
Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive Joanna Siejka.

THE government cannot say who or when a new Children's Commissioner will be found, despite a report finding Launceston's children are suffering.

The State of Launceston's Children report was released by Launceston Child Friendly Working Group this week and found that 30 per cent of kids in the North were vulnerable.

People Protecting Children president Allison Ritchie has called for a Children's Register to better report on the health and well-being of Tasmanian children.

Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive Joanna Siejka said an initial delay to fill the Children's Commissioner role was caused by the Advocacy for Children Committee examining the commissioner's role and function, but was unsure what was now causing the delay.

A government spokesman said the role had been advertised by the Liberals in May, but would give no further details about the position.

The role has been strengthened due to inadequacies and the lack of powers associated with the old statement of duties, that led to the two previous commissioners Paul Mason and Aileen Ashford leaving the role.

"This process is underway, it is not appropriate to provide further details at this stage," he said.

Ms Siejka said having a commissioner was vital to identify, support and advocate for the needs of the state's children and youth.

Ms Ritchie said the development of a child register would provide a single place to collate important information about the welfare of Tasmanian children.

"In recent days we have seen a number of reports that have painted very concerning pictures about the health and well-being of children in Tasmania," she said.

"It is a shame that these issue are only bought into focus on the release of such reports."


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