The New South Wales Family and Community Services Minister is facing fresh accusations that she misled parliament over caseworker numbers after the opposition obtained leaked departmental emails.
Pru Goward has repeatedly told the house that the Government has fully funded more than 2,000 caseworker positions, but the Opposition says it has obtained documents that show she was advised in June there was not enough money to pay for them.
They say the documents also show Ms Goward asked for a cabinet minute to be drafted in July requesting the extra money.
When asked about the matter in question time yesterday, Ms Goward refused to say whether asked for the cabinet minute to be prepared.
The Opposition's community services spokeswoman Linda Burney says it is unacceptable.
"The meeting took place in June and Minister Goward went on to claim in August and September, on ten occasions, that the positions were funded," she said.
"You cannot claim on ten occasions something that you know to be patently untrue."
The Opposition says the leaked emails detail a drop in the number of filled positions at the Wollongong office, on the state's south coast, from 44 in June 2011, to 33 at the end of last year.
Opposition Leader John Robertson says the minister falsely claimed in Parliament that there had been no cuts.
He has linked the shortages to the death of a Wollongong toddler last year, whose case staff were too busy to take at the time.
The toddler's death was met with anger from staff, who staged a stopwork meeting in protest.
John Robertson has repeated his calls for Pru Goward to be sacked over staffing levels.
"She's proud to stand up and talk about cuts but she won't stand up and explain the consequences of those cuts," he said.
However, Pru Goward insists the 2068 caseworker jobs are funded, and the Director General is busy filling the vacancies.
She has also defended the staffing levels in the Wollongong office.
"I am not going to join Labor in playing abhorrent politics over the death of a child," she said.
"The unreported fact is that that office was actually over its budgeted number of caseworkers when that terrible tragedy occurred."
A Government spokesman says last year's audited figures show caseworker vacancies were at their lowest in many years.
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