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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1762..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

it. There was the $50 million upgrade in the GST pool that was announced as part of the commonwealth's updated economic forecast in December and that was built into our budget review. We built that in, then we lost 85 and now we have included a revision of further growth in the GST pool over and above what was announced in the updated economic forecast for the rest of the financial year, and that is in the budget as well. So I think that is the mistake. We are talking about two 50s here—the 50—

Mr Hanson: Stop hiding behind your 80 million.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson!

MS GALLAGHER: The 50 that I think Mr Doszpot refers to is the 50 from the updated economic forecast, which was already built into our bottom line for the budget review. Then the Commonwealth Grants Commission report came out. We lost $85 million through that. We now expect to get a further 50 back through extra activity in the GST pool, and we have factored that in.

Childcare—costs

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the minister for community services. Minister, what steps is your government taking to lessen the burden of childcare costs on Canberra families, and where can those steps be found in the budget?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her interest in childcare. In fact, in the budget we announced $4 million over four years to go to the former school site at Flynn, and to invest in childcare places. We are earmarked to deliver 110 places. We could get more, depending on the final design, but certainly 110 childcare places in the Flynn and Belconnen region are welcomed by all families on the north side of Canberra.

There has been overwhelming support for the addition of childcare places. Even the John Flynn community group, whilst not happy with some elements of that proposal, recognise that childcare has been unanimously supported to be developed on that site, and that is what we will be delivering over the next two years.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Minister, how many places will be available through the new plan for childcare at Flynn, and will the Flynn childcare centre be managed by a community-based or private sector operator?

MS BURCH: As I have said, our planning is for 110. Through design and planning, we could get a tad more, but we will say it is 110. The procurement process is yet to be commenced, so the answer about whether it is community based or private based is yet to be determined. I support our community-based childcare sector here in the ACT. This will bring online more childcare places. Last year we delivered over 660. This year we earmarked 450-plus. Now this announcement delivers another 110 places. That is an incredible increase in childcare places to best serve the families here in the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?


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