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Qld minister weathers more LNP attacks

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has thrown her support behind Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman amid sustained opposition attack in parliament.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) on Tuesday used question time to grill Ms Fentiman on shortcomings in her department following the high-profile deaths of Mason Lee and Tiahleigh Palmer.

The LNP's child safety spokeswoman Ros Bates demanded to know why more than 3000 children suspected of having been abused had no case officer assigned, according to March data.

Ms Fentiman accused the LNP of playing politics with child safety and said the state's child safety system had been under pressure for "many years".

"I take responsibility for restoring Queenslanders' confidence in the child safety system," she said, pointing out an extra 82 frontline staff that will be in place by March next year.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman © AAP Image/Dan Peled Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman

"Queenslanders can be confident these additional frontline workers will help us provide more timely responses to at-risk children and provide more support and case work for children in out-of-home care."

Ms Fentiman said the government welcomed transparency, was listening to staff and was investing in more officers.

"I am happy for this government's legacy on child safety to stand against (the LNP's) legacy on child safety," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk later insisted Ms Fentiman still had her confidence.

"This is a minister who is dedicated to improving the lives of some of our most vulnerable children in our state," she said.

The case of Tiahleigh Palmer, the 12-year-old schoolgirl whose foster father now faces a murder charge after her October 2015 death, partly prompted a broad review of child safety issues, including the state's blue card system.

Ms Palaszczuk said the fact the department had serious issues was not unique to Queensland and the LNP did not understand the realities of child safety.

"What we have seen over the course of this hour, people opposite playing politics when there are tragedies that have happened in this state that are currently under police investigation," the premier said.

"I say to those opposite, it's about time that you came into this place and started acting with dignity."

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