The opposition’s plan to cap on the number of at-risk children taken away from their parents is nonsense, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally says.
The coalition plans to cap the removal of children for the next four years, then cut their numbers by more than 20 per cent, News Limited reports.
Opposition community services spokeswoman Pru Goward said that despite fewer removals, children would be safer, News Ltd reported.
Out-of-home care was threatening to swallow up to $900 million of the community services budget within three years, leaving little money to investigate cases of children at risk, Ms Goward said.
Ms Keneally said she couldn’t understand the opposition’s plan.
“Today, they (the opposition) are talking about their policy: they’ll put a cap on the number of children who are put in out-of-home care,” she told WSFM radio in Sydney on Thursday.
“I frankly don’t understand how you could even approach community services with that kind of policy.
“Surely, children are taken away from their parents when they’re in danger, no matter whether there’s a cap in place or not.
“So, there are some very stark differences between us (Labor) and and they represent very different futures for NSW.”
Asked about her announcement, on Wednesday, that fares from two stations on Sydney’s airport rail line would be reduced to match those on other parts of the network, she blamed the previous, Liberal, government.
“The airport rail line was something done by the last Liberal government and we’ve been trying to undo it now for the entire time we’ve been in office.
“In 2005, we got the state out of a contract that would have seen us paying for the next 24 years for the patronage on the line that the line failed to achieve.
“We’d already spent $800 million on the airport rail link and that was something promised by the (Nick) Greiner and (John) Fahey governments at no cost to the taxpayer.”
The NSW election will be held on March 26.