WA Minister: further action against Camp Australia would be “excessive”
Western Australian Child Protection and Communities Minister Simone McGurk has reportedly ruled out further action towards Camp Australia’s operations in the state, saying that provider approval for the company was granted in Victoria, and that cancelling Camp Australia’s provider approval would be excessive, and have implications for thousands of children across the country.
Ms McGurk’s statements were reported this morning in The West Australian, and come as the mother of a child whose eyes were chemically burned whilst in the care of a Camp Australia service questioned the number of times a service provider could be fined for safety breaches before authorities took more decisive action.
Camp Australia received media attention this week after being ordered to pay legal costs, and a $210,000 fine- the third fine to the company issued by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in Western Australia this year.
Camp Australia has also faced opposition from regulatory watch-dog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, when the company proposed to merge with Junior Adventures Group – a move that would give the proposed conglomerate a monopoly over the outside school hours care private market in Australia.
Ms McGurk is quoted as saying that while the actions of Camp Australia were not acceptable, parents should be reassured that systems of accountability were in place, and that cancelling the company’s provider approval would be an ‘excessive response’. She went on to confirm that provider approval for Camp Australia was granted by the Victorian regulatory authority under the national law, saying that the responsibility to review or cancel provider approval rested with them.
In an interview earlier this year, Chief Marketing Officer for Camp Australia, Tom Dusseldorp, shared that the company had recently brought on a new chief operations officer, chief financial officer and human resources director, as well as a refreshed executive team, in a bid to take the company to the next level and reframe its thinking, and approach to market. Mr Dusseldorp emphasised that the before and after school child care space is one that requires a lot of transparency and enhanced customer service, saying that everything the organisation delivered was structured around the core factor of safety.