Like most locals I was shocked and horrified at the details of this case and the extent of neglect in which these children had been living with.

As a Dad, it made me very angry that innocent children were living in such a way within the Illawarra and I have written to the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services urging her to look at bringing forward legislation to put in place stronger penalties that fit with the appalling level of neglect that these young children suffered.

The magistrate has made it clear that tougher penalties would have been imposed for animal cruelty of this nature and that simply means we can and must do better when it comes to having stronger penalties in place for those who mistreat children in this way.

Parenting is tough, but we have services in our community that people can access if they need help. All of us have a responsibility to make sure the most vulnerable in our community, especially young children are protected and that we don’t ignore or condone any behaviour that puts their safety at risk.