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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 4112..


MR PRATT (continuing):


come back with an amendment which quantifies how many tonnages of fire fuel per hectare can be allowed before something has to be done. That is the opposition's plan. In proposed section 74A bushfire breaks are again detailed. In proposed section 78 we go into more detail about the bushfire operational plans, who does them and by when they must be prepared. Mr Speaker, the opposition commends this legislation to the Assembly and asks the government to look at it and support it.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Planning—EpiCentre lease

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.25): Pursuant to standing order 127, and at the request of Mr Seselja, I fix the next day of sitting for the moving of this motion. Unfortunately Mr Seselja has gone away to a function, and due to the late hour of the day and the length of previous debates we have been unable to get to this motion.

Childcare—reform

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.26): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes the recent report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services entitled Inquiry into Balancing Work and Family; and

(2) requests the Minister for Disability and Community Services to call on the Commonwealth Government to reform its child care policies for the benefit of the families of the ACT.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services recently released the report of their inquiry into balancing work and family. The inquiry lasted 18 months, held a number of public hearings and received 225 submissions, including submissions from the Centre for Child and Family Development, Relationships Australia, the ACT Council of Social Service, Professor Patricia Apps, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Ms Gallagher as the former Minister for Industrial Relations, Professor Fiona Stanley and Professor Barbara Pocock. The inquiry made 19 recommendations.

While I am not necessarily happy with some of the recommendations of the report and I hope the commonwealth government will take a sensible and equitable approach to balancing family and working life and to childcare reform as part of that balance, I am pleased at finding that the commonwealth is seriously looking at childcare. I am pleased to see childcare on the front page of newspapers and as the top story on radio and television news bulletins, for a change. I am pleased that, as a nation, our attention has turned, albeit briefly, to the difficulties parents and families face in juggling their work, their children, their families and, with any luck, some time out to stay sane.


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