Australia Vic child abuse calls 'going unanswered'
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Thousands of calls about vulnerable children to Victoria's child protection hotline are going unanswered, new figures show.
The worst affected region was the south, taking in Melbourne's southeast and eastern regional Victoria, the freedom of information data provided to the state opposition shows.
More than 7100 of 27,428 calls from the region went unanswered in the 12 months to August this year.
And the average wait time was almost 10 minutes, more than all the other regions put together.
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The hotline receives reports of children suffering abuse or neglect from across the state.
Opposition child protection spokesman Nick Wakeling wants the Labor government to ensure all calls are answered.
"Teachers, nurses and other professionals will lose confidence in mandatory reporting if Labor's Human Services Department can't even pick up the phone," he said on Monday.
But government MP Melissa Horne said Labor had invested $1.2 billion into the child protection services.
"If more needs to be done, we stand ready for it," the public transport minister told reporters on Monday.
The data, which covers different time periods, also shows:
* More than 14,400 calls went unanswered between January 2018 and August 2019.
* Some 4664 of 37,488 calls to the western division went unanswered in the year to July 2019.
* Some 1488 of 36,702 calls from the northern division went unanswered between January 2018 and July 1 this year.
* In the after-hours, 1138 of more than 100,200 calls went unanswered across the state between January 2018 and June 30 this year.
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