Page 4970 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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concern. There is always concern in relation to change, particularly change in relation to industrial status. But the government has committed that every single member of the public service employed at Clare Holland House will have an enduring right of re-entry without loss of any condition to the ACT public service—an enduring right of return; a return at any time they choose in their working career.

The Little Company of Mary has made a commitment that the terms and conditions of all currently employed public servants at Clare Holland House will be maintained by the Little Company of Mary. That is an undertaking made by the Little Company of Mary. The government, in its response, has undertaken to ensure an enduring right of re-entry to the ACT public service. We are well aware of these concerns, and we have done everything within our power to deal with them.


MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, many community organisations in Canberra operate childcare facilities. What impact will the extension of the portable long service leave have on childcare fees?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne. I noticed that she raised that concern during the debate in which the Liberal Party did not support the community sector, did not support the portable long service leave of the community sector. You raised that this would be an impost on increased childcare based on a conversation that you have had with one provider. That is my understanding.

The government does not see that it will result in increased costs over the long term. The government is providing transitional support to the sector. I would imagine that that would accommodate any impost on the immediate implementation.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what modelling has the government done on the impact of the increased childcare fees on working families resulting from the extension of the portable long service leave, and what studies have you done to satisfy yourself that, according to you, there will be no cost increase?

MS BURCH: Thank you for the question. I do not have that information in front of me. I understand a lot of work has been done, so I am quite happy to take that on notice and to bring that information back. But I do not support that this will impost significantly on families and community. This portable long service leave is around supporting the sector. It is about supporting workers’ rights and entitlements, and that is something that I will support. This government is supporting transitional support. The non-government sector welcomes this portable long service leave.

Going back to your question around what advice, what research, what activity, we have done to consider the cost implications of this, I will bring that information back.

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