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SA closer to picking child commissioner

AAP logoAAP 20/09/2016

South Australia is a step closer to having a commissioner for children with legislation passing state parliament's lower house.

The position, which will come with significant investigative powers, was recommended by the recent royal commission into SA's child protection systems which were found to be in crisis.

The legislation now goes before the upper house with Attorney-General John Rau hopeful of having a suitable candidate in the role by the end of the year.

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said passage of the legislation on Tuesday marked the beginning of a new era in child protection but accused the government of going too slow on reform.

He said the idea of a commissioner for children was first recommended 13 years ago.

"The procrastination on the establishment of children's commissioner has left vulnerable children at increased risk," Mr Marshall said.

Also on Tuesday, the state government introduced two other bills related to child protection to allow for better screening of people working with children and to allow various government agencies to share information.

So far the state government has accepted 38 of the 260 recommendations from the royal commission, which was sparked by the shocking offending of government childcare worker Shannon McCoole who is serving a 35-year jail sentence for abusing children in his care.

The government has pledged to provide its response the the commission's remaining recommendations before the end of the year.

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