Page 156 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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amendment that has been circulated in my name that calls on a couple of things. After a series of notes that actually provide a much more realistic picture of what is happening in the sector, it calls on a couple of things, and that is, to provide opportunities and support for the development of additional early education and childcare places by the private sector and community organisations. I think that this government needs to heed that. It needs to make sure that it provides opportunities for this sector to flourish rather than what it is doing, which is essentially going into competition with this sector. It is squeezing out business, making business less effective, and doing so at great cost to the taxpayer and in a grossly inefficient manner.

That is the first thing the amendment calls on. The second is to write to the federal government stating support for a Productivity Commission review into childcare to ensure that childcare is more accessible, affordable and flexible for parents. I think that there is need for a Productivity Commission review. I certainly support what my Liberal coalition colleagues are calling for in the federal arena. I think it would be a very useful body of work. What we would see then is a realistic view of what options this government can take, rather than continual attempts by this minister to come into this place and pat herself on the back for what can only be considered as a failure in management of this sector.

As I said, I will not be supporting this motion. My colleagues and I believe that this government and this minister are not only managing this sector poorly but are out of touch with the reality on the ground. Because there is more work to be done and we need to be forward looking, we need to have a Productivity Commission review, rather than just simply bumbling along as we are and seeing availability decrease and costs increase. I now move the amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) that the availability of quality childcare and early childhood education plays an important role in supporting families and the productivity of our economy;

(b) that the previous Labor governments have failed to support and encourage the early childhood education and childcare sector in the ACT;

(c) that the previous Labor government spent $4 million of taxpayers funding an additional 10 childcare places at Flynn;

(d) the Labor government has proposed to spend $7.5 million on a childcare centre in Holder, at a cost of $60 000 per place;

(e) that no action has been made on building this facility including no development application for such a centre;

(f) that a childcare centre was built by a community organisation in Harrison at a cost of $28 000 per place, considerably below the Labor Government’s proposed investment;

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