Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3086 ..
MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?
MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how many organisations does ACT Health have three-year contracts with and how many of them have been signed in time for today?
MS GALLAGHER: By far the majority of our contracts—we are the second largest agency in terms of the number of contracts with non-government agencies; I think we are second to the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services—are three-year contracts. There are shorter contracts, particularly, say, through the health promotion grant rounds. At times they are one-year and two-year funding arrangements. Sometimes they are three years. As to the detail, I will get some advice from the department and come back to the Assembly today if I can.
MRS DUNNE: My question is to the minister for family and community services. Minister, according to a backgrounder prepared by your department, the cost of childcare is increasing at a rate of 6½ per cent per annum over the last four years. Added to this, many childcare centres are likely to have to raise their fees to accommodate the changes to the regulations due to be implemented in 2012. Further, the federal Labor government has just reduced and frozen the childcare rebate to $7,500.
Minister, what is your plan to deal with this impending crisis in the cost of childcare and how do you plan to pay for it considering that you have already spent your funding allocation of $4 million when you created only about 20 new childcare places at Flynn?
MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question and for drawing my attention to the Flynn childcare centre that we put on line, and again reminding me of our budget commitments to indeed deliver childcare centres, and Flynn is part of that commitment. And indeed it does not stop there; that is just the first tranche of work that we will do to support the families here of the ACT.
We have brought on Flynn, to much delight—I think it was over the moon, overjoyed, ecstatic, for Gumnut and Alkira—and I think that is a good outcome. We are delivering on our election commitment and we are supporting the childcare—
Mrs Dunne: That’s two new childcare centres?
MS BURCH: Mrs Dunne, we are not even halfway through this term—
Opposition members interjecting—
MS BURCH: They need to get used to sitting over there for some time yet to come. We have committed and we will deliver; in fact, we will over-deliver on our commitment to childcare in the ACT.