Page 5798 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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on the hill who have come out in furious disagreement with the Productivity Commission. We saw the softening of the ground by Kate Ellis, on the Sunday before the Productivity Commission report came out, where she threatened to name and shame anyone who raised prices.

I know of childcare centres across this town who are telling me that in the next year they will have to raise prices. And they are not, as Kate Ellis said in her commentary in the Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere, some bloated plutocrats who are making money. These are community-run organisations who tell you, if you ask them, that they are terrified of the implications that this will have for their families. They know that they will have to raise costs. Community childcare centre after community childcare centre will tell you, if you care to ask and care to listen, just how much they will have to raise their fees next year.

And when we remember that most of the people in the ACT who run childcare centres are in the community sector, we will see just as many cost increases in the community sector as we will see in the private sector, and I defy Kate Ellis to name and shame the hardworking community sector organisations who are putting work into providing great childcare but who are going to be named and shamed because they have the temerity to tell the truth.

Then we had Peter Garrett come out and essentially just dis the Productivity Commission report, saying how wrong the Productivity Commission was. If the Productivity Commission was so wrong—and Minister Burch said here today again that the Productivity Commission was wrong—why when the draft report came out did the government not respond? Why didn’t they go to the Productivity Commission and say: “You’ve overlooked this. Look what we did in 2007. We changed the childcare rebate and you haven’t taken this into account”? If they had been so interested in getting accuracy and less desperate in their actions, they would have participated after the draft report came out so that these errors, if they were errors, would have been fixed.

The Canberra Liberals are standing up for people who are facing rising costs and rising difficulties in accessing childcare. We will not be supporting the amendment put forward by Minister Burch today and we condemn the Greens for agreeing with it.

Question put:

That Ms Burch’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

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