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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3536 ..


50 per cent. To help families with the cost of childcare, the federal Labor government has delivered an increase in the childcare rebate from 30 to 50 and increased the cap from 4,354 to 750. This means that families in the ACT receive a rebate quarterly rather than in the year, and next year families will be receiving that rebate fortnightly. A family earning $80,000 per annum now receives $2,239 a year more—that is, more—in childcare rebate than they would have done under the coalition.

Mrs Dunne also made mention of COAG data. She was wrong on that as well, but I did not have time to check the data so that I could understand that.

In regard to childcare and childcare support for families in the ACT, at the last election, childcare was absent in the costed proposals by those opposite, but in their release the day before the election, almost word for word, there was their policy on building two new childcare centres. Missing in action indeed.

Since that thought bubble, the only thought bubble that has come out of Mrs Dunne in this most recent budget debate was her position that she was going to move forward and solve the problems of the world with a centralised booking system. Information that is finding its way to your desk, Mrs Dunne, will show you—I will let you find it but I am sure you will—that the Children’s Services Forum discussed the difficulties of managing the demand for childcare centres across the market, which sometimes resulted in confusion of parents re an inflated sense of demand. This is noting that in 2009 there were over 800 vacancies across over 105 centres. But the forum—these are the providers, the experts, the people that do this work—agreed that it was not feasible or desirable to establish a centralised or coordinated booking system for the ACT. That is the sector managing your thought bubble.

In regard to the Greens, it seems that the Greens also recognise the benefits of quality childcare.

It seems that those opposite disagree with esteemed academics, disagree with the research, disagree with the community care sector and, indeed, disagree with the families on the benefit and the value of a quality early childcare environment. The Libs talk about living pressures, but they seem to ignore and disagree with the research that clearly shows better outcomes for children that have an experience with quality childcare—the quality childcare that this Labor government is delivering. They do not see that. They want to pull the plug on quality childcare. They have no respect for the academics, no respect for the research, no respect for the sector and no respect for the family. Indeed, they have no sense of the positive outcomes and the increased participation that can influence children through a quality environment as they are children, as they develop and as they reach adulthood.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.07): You cannot imagine how disappointed I am to have only 10 minutes to speak and so many preposterous points to respond to, but I am going to give it a good shot.

It starts with Mr Smyth. Mr Smyth stood waving around this great sheaf of Greens’ policies. He was very outraged by them, but the interesting point is that Mr Smyth could wave around that sheaf of Greens’ policies, because every single one of our


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