Speech made by Chris Robertshaw during the debate on Child Care Tuesday November 16th 2010
Thank you Mr President. It goes without saying but I will say it anyway. I am absolutely sure that there is not one single member of this honourable court who does not care enormously about our children. To suggest otherwise would be a heinous thing to do and I do not do it.
Perhaps it is because we all care so much that we find this a truly difficult subject. Perhaps the most difficult.
You will therefore understand that I do not bring this motion before you lightly and not before I have carried out a considerable investigation. I am deeply sorry that I find it necessary to bring this before you but I speak now for those who have no voice and I would respectfully ask you to listen to what I have to say – to what they have to say. If you listen to nothing else I have to say - please listen to this with a truly open heart and an open mind. It is late and honourable members are tired but I would beg your attention.
Whilst canvassing last May I came across a couple of instances where I was told the most troubling stories about dealings with the Children and Families section of Social Services. I found it most difficult to believe what I was hearing but resolved that if I was elected I would follow the matter up and this I have duly done.
I went back to those concerned after the election, sat down and listened again to their stories. I still found them difficult to believe not because I thought they were lying – simply that I did not want to believe them.
I did not want it to be true.