Page 1560 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Before you proceed, Ms Le Couteur: members of the opposition, I find your string of derisory comments both unparliamentary and disorderly and not becoming of this place. I would ask you to desist. Ms Le Couteur, you have a supplementary question.

MS LE COUTEUR: What review have you done of the economic, social and environmental impacts the Asian honey bee could have on the ACT and Australia, particularly since the ACT’s and your decision to defund the eradication program?

MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Will the ACT government now reverse its position and vote to fund the Asian honey bee eradication program at the upcoming primary industries ministerial council meeting?


Childcare—staff shortages

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, on Thursday, 24 March you appeared on the 666 ABC morning radio program. You were questioned about criticism of the infrastructure grants and the fact that you are not doing enough to address the immediate problem of staff shortages. Your response was: “Ah, well, the ratios come into effect in 2012, um, the qualifications requirements attached to staff come in effect in 2014, so 2012 in my calendar head hits me before 2014. That’s why we’re moving on the infrastructure grants first and foremost.”

Minister, 52 temporary exemptions from childcare standards were granted in 2009, 71 were granted in 2010 and already 12 have been granted so far this year. Minister, how will the implementation of the national quality framework which you introduced into the Assembly this morning alleviate the difficulty that childcare centres are experiencing in recruiting staff?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. The bill will come into effect. We have tabled the bill. The new regulations come into effect for staff ratios in January of next year and for qualifications in 2014. The question about supporting the sector around work force recruitment is an ongoing challenge not only in the ACT but across Australia. You are right: I am looking at the things that need to be done now and that is also about supporting the sector to meet the ratios, which is why we have put in $10,000 grants to support the community sector. Should they have building requirements, should they have design and building plans to do, should they require some internal modifications, that will support them in that.

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