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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4069..


MR CORBELL: I thank members. In February this year the Assembly passed a motion calling on the government to conduct a review of the first 12 months of operation of the Alexander Maconochie Centre. The government has moved quickly to engage a respected corrections expert, Mr Keith Hamburger AM, to head the review and provide his Knowledge Consulting review team with extensive terms of reference.

The Assembly motion called on the government to provide a progress report to the Assembly in August 2010. At the end of July, Knowledge Consulting provided advice on progress to inform the preparation of the interim report, which I have tabled today. This report explains that the review is proceeding well, that the review team has consulted widely, that the relevant government agencies have been cooperating with the review team and that the review team is on track to provide its final report later in the year. I table this progress report in response to the Assembly motion and commend it to the members of the Assembly.

Papers

Mr Barr presented the following paper:

Change of use charge—Internal audit—Final report prepared by Oakton for the ACT Planning and Land Authority, dated August 2010.

Childcare—affordability and accessibility

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Mr Hargreaves, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mrs Dunne be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Affordable and accessible childcare in the ACT.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.16): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to raise this matter of public importance today because it relates to probably the most important financial issue facing young families, aside from how they pay their rent or their mortgage—that is, the importance of affordable and accessible childcare. This is an issue that goes to the heart of some of the cost of living pressures that young, hardworking families face today.

Affordable and accessible childcare is particularly important in the ACT. There are several unique aspects of the ACT economy which make affordable and accessible childcare in the ACT very important. The ACT has the highest workforce participation rate of women in any jurisdiction in the country. The ACT also has a large transient population, particularly with defence families who move to the ACT, who do not have family support networks to assist them with childcare.

These two important factors about our economy mean that there is a high demand for quality childcare in Canberra. I often wonder, given some of the responses I have


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