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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3096 ..

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. Indeed, we have found a solution for two childcare centres—Gumnut and Alkira. I remind Mrs Dunne that she was calling on me earlier this year to find a solution for her, and I did, but that has not satisfied Mrs Dunne. In fact, she is not happy with that result. She is not happy when we help out a childcare centre in difficulty.

This outcome means that we have responded to need and demand. We have a facility that the community wanted utilised and refurbished. We did that—tick. We had two childcare centres that needed new accommodation so they could go on delivering for ACT families. We have accommodated that—tick. We have still got a commitment on the table to deliver more. In regard to Baringa, Baringa approached my department with an interest in growing, growing on site, and we have—guess what—ticked, delivered, on that.


MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, yesterday, in an answer to a question about the ACT Labor election commitment, regarding the $4 million you have already committed for one childcare centre and where you were going to get the money for the extra childcare centre, you said:

That, Ms Dunne, is on the assumption that we are responsible for building and putting on line each and every childcare place. We have delivered $4 million, and we will look across the sector. The sector itself is quite capable, in responding to the needs of ACT families. I think it is incumbent on this government, one, to take its own responsibilities seriously, but also to allow partnerships with the commercial sector.

Minister, do you plan to ask the private sector or the community to build the childcare centre that ACT Labor promised at the last election?

MS BURCH: Thank you. We are supporting the childcare sector. Again, I do encourage you to go to your party’s election promises. The $4 million that we have already committed is on the table—and, as I have said before, there are two more budgets to go, two more budgets for this government to deliver to the people of the ACT—and I think that is a very good outcome. Yes, there is a strong community provider presence in the ACT. I think 80 per cent of our childcare providers are community provided—by sheer maths, that puts around 20 per cent as being commercial providers.

If the sector and industry has an interest—their own interest—in growing under their own steam, this government will certainly work in partnership. I do not think that is a bad thing—to partner and support community or commercial providers that may have an interest, to further deliver for the people of the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary?

MR HANSON: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, have you broken ACT Labor’s commitment to build two new centres?

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