The mother of murdered Queensland foster care child Tiahleigh Palmer has launched legal action against the State Government and the children’s services provider.
Cindy Lee Uluave lodged an application in the Supreme Court of Queensland under the Personal Injuries Proceeding Act late last month.
Ms Uluave is claiming undisclosed damages from the Queensland Government and foster care agency Key Assets over the murder of her 12-year-old daughter Tiahleigh in 2015.
Tiahleigh was killed by her foster father Rick Thorburn after being sexually assaulted by his son Trent when she was placed with the Logan family.
She was reported missing on October 30, 2015, with the Thorburns telling police she had not returned from school.
Her body was found six days later on the banks of the Pimpama River on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
When her body was eventually found on November 5, the cause of death could not be determined because of the state of decomposition.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the legal process has to take its course.
“There have been many, many investigations after Tiahleigh’s tragic death and we have certainly canvassed those quite openly but it’s just not appropriate for me to comment further,” she said.
Legal representatives for Ms Uluave have been contacted, while Key Assets declined to comment as the case is before the courts.
Tiahleigh’s murder exposed weaknesses in Queensland’s child protection system, prompting a government review of the child protection and foster care systems and blue card scheme.
Opposition spokeswoman for women Ros Bates said the Queensland Government had questions to answer over the case.
“This is about the death of a little girl that could have been prevented,” she said.
“She was put in child safety for her own protection and was murdered. There are bigger questions that need to be asked and answer about what’s happening in child safety in Queensland.”
Ms Bates said the child safety system was in crisis.
“That little girl ran away 10 times in 10 months and no-one took any notice of her. We know there are another thousand children in care since the Palaszczuk Government came in, we know that we are the second-worst performing state in the country for child safety.”
In May, Rick Thorburn was sentenced to life in jail for murdering Tiahleigh to protect his son, who feared he had gotten her pregnant.
The 57-year-old will not be eligible for parole until September 2036.
Trent Thorburn was sentenced to four years in jail for incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He was released in late January 2018, after serving 16 months.
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