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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5154 ..

MR DOSZPOT: Thank you. Minister, what impact are these fees having on the workforce participation rate in the ACT, particularly for women?

MS BURCH: Indeed, there has been no correspondence into my office that has indicated that any of the policy—

Mr Hanson: “I am not unsurprised by that question”!

MR SPEAKER: Members, and particularly you, Mr Hanson, I have spoken about not interjecting. You are now warned, Mr Hanson, for continued interjecting.

MS BURCH: I will just give a very simple answer. I think we have the highest participation of females in the workforce.

Mr Coe: Were you unsurprised to become a minister?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, you are now warned for interjecting as well.

MS BURCH: Indeed, there is no evidence to suggest that the provision of accessible, quality childcare excludes women from the workforce.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Minister, are you aware of a scare campaign being run at the moment about the portability of long service leave et al in terms of the rising cost of childcare?

Mr Smyth: It is not a trick question. This one is straight. He is not out to get you.

Mrs Dunne: He is on your side, Joy.

Mr Smyth: Just remember he is on your side.

MS BURCH: He is and he always will be. Indeed, Mr Speaker, there have been a number of comments made in this chamber that dismiss the benefits of portable long service leave and, indeed, have linked that to increased cost of childcare. Again, there is no evidence to say that the two are linked.

I am actually looking forward over the next couple of months as portable long service leave is unfolding and the first contribution made to the authority is taking place. I know that my department has written to all organisations again reminding them of the time lines for that contribution and also of the assistance that this government has offered in that transition.

Education—Indigenous students

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. In yesterday’s question time with regard to cuts to the six literacy and numeracy

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