Tolley cannot give assurance on pedophiles

Published: Tue 23 Nov 2010 05:32 PM
23 November 2010 Media Statement
Tolley cannot give assurance on pedophiles
Education Minister Anne Tolley cannot give any assurance that carers looking after children at limited attendance centres in gymnasia and shopping malls won’t be convicted sex offenders, Labour’s Education spokesperson Trevor Mallard says.
“Anne Tolley, in making amendments to the Education Amendment Bill (No 2), has removed the only protection --- police checks on carers --- that ensures carers in such crèches or babysitting services aren’t pedophiles,” Trevor Mallard said.
“Her response in Parliament to my questions today beggared belief.
“She flounced up and down saying she found my questions offensive and appealed to the Speaker for help,” Trevor Mallard said.
“She accused the former Labour Government of over-regulating in its concern to keep pedophiles out of such centres.
“She claimed that an Education Act was not an appropriate place in which to have provisions relating to babysitting or crèche services, but she refused to answer my question about why in that case she didn’t take any steps to make an amendment to another Act to ensure police checks on such carers remain in place.
“Anne Tolley refuses to say whose responsibility it now is to ensure that carers in crèches or babysitting services are not convicted sex offenders,” Trevor Mallard said.
“She says she trusts parents to leave their children in a safe place. But who are the parents to trust? Are they to ask carers outright themselves if they have sex offending convictions? And are they to believe carers if they say no?
“Anne Tolley says she finds my questions offensive,” Trevor Mallard said.
“I find her negligence offensive.”

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