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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 4833..


Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Bill 2011

[Cognate bill:

Children and Young People (Education and Care Services National Law) Consequential Amendments Bill 2011]

Debate resumed from 7 April 2011, on motion by Ms Burch:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SPEAKER: I understand it is the wish of the Assembly to debate this bill cognately with order of the day No 4, Children and Young People (Education and Care Services National Law) Consequential Amendment Bill 2011. That being the case, in debating order of the day No 3, executive business, members may also address their remarks to order of the day No 4, executive business.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.11): The opposition will not be supporting this bill. We will not be supporting it because of what it does to Canberra families already struggling with cost of living pressures. This Labor government, along with its federal Labor mates and its Green coalition partners, does not care if its policies drive up the cost of living of Canberra families.

We will not be supporting this bill because this ACT Labor government washes its hands of any responsibility for the impact of its policies on the cost of living, and the cost of childcare in particular. We have seen the minister's pathetic attempts to answer questions in this place about the cost of childcare and the impact that that has on family budgets.

We will not be supporting it because the increased cost of childcare may drive people from the workforce because they can no longer keep their children in childcare. The ACT government does not care. We have seen the research from Treasury that shows that an increase in costs for childcare does have an impact on female participation in the workforce and we know that in the ACT we have the highest rate of female participation in the country and it will have a significant impact upon the workforce of the ACT.

We will not be supporting it because this will result in children not having the start in life they deserve. They will miss out on social interaction; they will miss out on their early education; they will miss out on their daily fun. The ACT Labor government does not care.

We will not be supporting this legislation because it provides a regulation for only 50 per cent of the childcare provided in this country and 50 per cent of the childcare provided for in the ACT. We know, from figures provided by the Bureau of Statistics year on year, that 50 per cent of children in care are not in the formal regulated system; they are in informal care arrangements with grandmas, aunts, cousins and neighbours who are not in the system, who are not regulated and who are not supervised in any way. They are there because of cost. They are there because working families in Canberra and across the nation cannot afford the high price of childcare. We do not believe that it is appropriate that we should legislate so


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