Mason Jet Lee.
Mason Jet Lee. Contributed

Minister denies delaying damning Mason Lee report

THE State Opposition has claimed Queensland's Child Safety Minister has been sitting on a damning internal review into how the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre handled the case file of Mason Jet Lee for two weeks.

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls on Wednesday said he believed Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman has had the report for two weeks and only acted on it when the LNP launched a right to information request for the file.

Ms Fentiman on Wednesday announced three Caboolture child safety staff have been stood down and nine more referred to the Ethical Standards Unit over how the centre handled Mason Jet Lee's case before the toddler died.

A spokeswoman for Ms Fentiman said Mr Nicholls was "absolutely incorrect" in claiming she had sat on the report. She said Ms Fentiman received and was briefed on the report on Tuesday before announcing the disciplinary measures on Wednesday.

Mr Nicholls said the child safety system was "in crisis" and called on Ms Fentiman to resign.

"We understand that the minister has been aware of the contents of this report for two weeks and she is deliberately misleading people when she says she only received the report yesterday," he said.

Ms Fentiman announced on Wednesday the North Coast child safety region will be split into two to "strengthen supervision". She said the review did not find "systemic" issues in the child safety system.

"I want to be very clear that this report makes no findings about systemic failures across the department. But it does make very clear serious local flaws at the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre and serious decisions made by staff that have had an impact on this case," she said.

Ms Fentiman said the review found staff may have "breached legislation, standards, codes and procedures" in handling Mason Lee's case.

Mason Lee had allegedly received a number of injuries including a ruptured bowel that led to his death.

The review has been delivered to the police, the Coroner and the independent Child Death Case Review panel. The final CDCR report will be publicly released when completed in January.

Three Caboolture staff have been stood down with pay until the ESU finalises its investigation.

Queensland Family and Child Commissioner Cheryl Vardon said Mason's death was "extraordinary and tragic".

"I was appalled and shocked and distressed," she said.

"And I have been close to child safety for many years and my first reaction was: 'How could this have happened?'

"It cannot happen again. It is unacceptable if we find that there's been a complete breakdown in systems and information sharing."

Ms Fentiman said she had spoken to Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday morning about the report. She said she did not offer to resign over the incident.


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