Page 1554 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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Recommendation 19, which is the final one that I will touch on, concerns Crace and Casey and the technical variation process. The planning process is cryptic at best, and perhaps even deceptive at worst, and the fact that Crace and Casey have these amendments in terms of technical variation that were on the table, then off the table, and they are now back, really does shed some light on just how confusing the planning process is in the territory.

The fact that you can make such significant changes to the design of suburbs as proposed in the technical variation for Crace and Casey really is a worry and I do not think it is due process. I do not think that is what the intention of this Assembly was when we actually created the Planning Act and the facility for technical variations. However, given that it has been done it would be good if as many people as possible could be notified of the technical variations. For example, it would be good if such variation could be included in the community’s own newsletter and if community councils could be notified.

Again I thank all committee members for their participation in this report, and I commend it to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Childcare—proposed regulations

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, on Monday, 7 March, the federal government released the Education and Care Services National Regulations exposure draft. Minister, I draw your attention to part 6, “Policies, procedures and programs”, division 4, “Relationships with children”, and in particular I draw your attention to section 86(1)(a)—“Protection from inappropriate activities or treatment”. I quote:

… children being educated and cared for by the service are not required to undertake activities that are inappropriate, having regard to each child’s family and cultural values, age and physical and intellectual development …

Minister, it has been reported that this will affect the ability of centres to have an Easter egg hunt and celebrate Christmas. The WA Minister for Community Services, Robyn McSweeney, has vowed to reject the proposed national laws, labelling it as “political correctness gone mad” and is hoping that the federal government gets a “commonsense base” before it is adopted over there. They have foreshadowed that if the federal government does not, they will draft their own “corresponding legislation”. Minister, do you support this proposed law in its current form?

MS BURCH: I am aware that there has been some discussion about some elements of the regulation and some misinformation being put through the media which suggests that centres cannot allow children to participate in Easter egg hunts or decorating

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