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Parents Have The Right To Know

WHEN police arrested an alleged pedophile who operated three child-care centres in Victoria, parents of the children attending the centres were immediately told.
Trembling and crying, they collected their children- Upset but informed- When police in NSW charged 28 people with a total of 76 charges relating to child sex abuse, details of the arrests were released in full. There was a suburb-by-suburb list of those arrested and the charges they faced, plus a list of men under investigation.
Among those listed were a married teacher from a western Sydney suburb, a doctor from Duntroon military college, two policemen and seven other teachers.
They were not all directly involved with children, but then the full extent of this evil web of perverts is still unknown. Parents have a right to know about the potential danger to their children and, in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, that right was upheld.
Why, then, are we in South Australia still waiting for information about the six people arrested and charged here and the other 21 still under investigation? Yesterday, SA police refused to divulge any information.
The only official comment was that the six people reported here were not in a profession which had any contact with children, Of the other 21, police would not comment.
Nor was there any comment forthcoming on whether any parents had been told about the investigations. The response from the Police Commissioner's spokeswoman was succinct: "SAPOL's series of raids have finished and there is nothing more we can add to what we 've already said. The investigations are ongoing."
Meanwhile, South Australian parents are left wondering and worrying.
The legislation which controls and restricts the flow of information in this state is in urgent need of review.
For parents not to be informed of the dangers to their children is a crime in itself.
The right to be informed needs to be recognised here, just as it is interstate.

Adelaide Advertiser (4-10-2004)

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