Opposition praises Gladstone's child safety system
SHADOW Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates has praised Gladstone's child protection services while in town on Friday.
Ms Bates said while the system was struggling across most of the state, Gladstone's office was fully staffed and each child safety officer was dealing with a relatively low caseload.
"The Gladstone centre has a really great relationship with the local police and the child protection unit - they work very closely together," she said.
"While the Carmody Inquiry recommended each officer deal with about 15 to 17 cases, Gladstone is on about 19, which is actually quite good compared to some of the worst areas in the state."
Ms Bates said staff at the centre were prepared for an expected uptick in the amount of cases reported to authorities following the end of the resources boom.
"We've seen the downturn in the economy and the increase in unemployment in the region (and) also the influx of a different element from areas such as Logan and Ipswich moving to Gladstone because of the cheaper rents," she said.
"They saw a peak in the number of children coming to the attention of child safety around September, but since then they've increased their staff complement to deal with it and now they will be watching it very closely as more people move to the region."
The shadow minister was in town on Friday as part of an ongoing tour of Queensland's child safety facilities before the next election.
Ms Bates said she had visited 35 centres in the past 12 months, while Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman had only visited 10 in the last two-and-a-half years.
But Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said that was "not true and the Member for Mudgeeraba knows it".
"All ministerial diaries are publicly available online (and) they show that despite having five ministerial portfolios to manage, the Minister has visited 24 Child Safety service centres and has done more recently which will appear in future published diaries," a spokesperson from the minister's office said.