Page 5544 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 9 December 2009

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what will be the impact on childcare costs in the ACT from the new framework as outlined in the Access report and do you agree with the analysis? Without going to page 65, can you tell us?

MS BURCH: I again thank you, Mr Speaker. I encourage those opposite to go to page 65. It does. This is the COAG agreed modelling. It does set out some cost. I have also said here before, but I will repeat it just so you can—I don’t know; I don’t think they will crack the century sessions, because there is only one more question time to go. The government will provide—the federal government; it is a federal government initiative—something that all states have signed up to—all states. Even our colleagues in WA have signed up to this. It is good to see that one Liberal government is actually supporting quality and safety in childcare.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Minister, the Access Economics report points to considerable vacancy rates in the ACT. Do you agree with the assessment? Is it your department’s assessment that the vacancy rates are as high as indicated in the Access Economics report?

MS BURCH: The department has responsibility around regulating. It is around setting standards and monitoring standards. The federal government, the Labor commonwealth government, has recently launched a mychild website which shows vacancy rates against all childcare settings and childcare centres.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS BURCH: I say to those opposite that we are supporting quality and safety in our childcare environment. Our vacancy rate across the childcare centres varies from week to week. There are a number of reasons for vacancies in childcare centres and waiting lists in childcare centres. The government is not responsible for vacancy rates or servicing rates. We have put in 666 new places this year. We are on line to put in over 400 places next year. That is in line to meeting what the community is saying to us around childcare places across the geographic divide of Canberra.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. Given that those opposite have not actually read all of that stuff, minister, could I ask you to table that report for the information of members?

MS BURCH: I table the following paper:

COAG—Access Economics report.

Members interjecting—

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