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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4446 ..

addresses the early childhood education and care quality reforms identifies several limitations with the economic modelling of the impact of the new national quality standard. They include a lack of service-level information, the non-inclusion of capital costs for new infrastructure that may be required by centres to conform with the new standards, supply impacts of the new ratios and any above-award wages that may have to be paid to attract staff. Minister, have you or your department considered these un-modelled costs and, if so, what have you done to mitigate the impact of these costs on the community?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Smyth for his question. The Access Economic framework is the modelling that we are looking to. It is the model that childcare centres are responding to through each jurisdiction’s department that has responsibility for childcare centres. I am glad that you are interested in childcare.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, this is absolutely ridiculous. I did not ask about the Access Economics report. If the minister knew, on page 49 there is a list of limitations and un-modelled costs. These are the costs that are not modelled by that report. I am asking her what did she do about it, what research or modelling has her department done and what is she doing to mitigate it.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch has quite some time to go. I am sure she will come to the question you have asked.

MS BURCH: I was about to point it out. I did not get 30 seconds into the answer. Given the tendency of those over there to make reference to a report and a page number which is often incorrect, I am not going to take as a given anything that Mr Smyth has said.

What I will say, though, is that the ACT and all other jurisdictions that are implementing the national quality agenda are using that report and that cost modelling. For the elements, should I believe anything that he says—

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 118(a), the answer to the question shall be concise and directly relevant. This is neither concise nor directly relevant. Page 49 of the regulation impact statement on the web gives a list of limitations and un-modelled costs. If the minister does not know, she should say, “I do not know,” and sit down. If she is going to babble on about something that is not directly relevant, you should assert your authority and direct her to answer the question, under your standing order.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you for your commentary, Mr Smyth. I think the minister is trying to answer the question. We will hear further from her.

Mr Hanson: She clearly is not.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Burch has the floor.

MS BURCH: I think the answer is—and the point I will make is—that you do flash around numbers and pieces of paper that are often incorrect. It is the modelling that we are looking at.

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