Page 30 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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MR RATTENBURY: Yes, Madam Speaker, I am happy to withdraw the comments, as I certainly have no intention of doing what you have described. They simply reflect community views. But I am happy to withdraw.



MADAM SPEAKER: Could I now acknowledge the presence in the gallery of former Deputy Chief Minister and member of this Assembly, Mr David Lamont. Welcome back to your Assembly.

Minister Burch

Motion of no confidence

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (11.22): When the Canberra Liberals raised the issue of the Fringe Festival matter I took it that they had no understanding of satire. Madam Speaker, having listened to the last 90 minutes, I think maybe I misjudged the Canberra Liberals. Perhaps they do understand satire, and their performance this morning indicates just that.

I agree with one thing Mr Hanson said in relation to this matter. Enough is enough. Too much of the Assembly’s time has been wasted this morning. It is time we got on with the business of the day, the business that this community expects us to get on with. Minister Burch has the full confidence of her colleagues and of this side of the house, and this motion ought to be dismissed for the political stunt that it is.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.23): My colleagues have covered many topics today, so I rise to talk only about two subjects—child care and Care and Protection Services—both of which fall under the responsibility of Minister Burch and both of which demonstrate her serious failings as a minister.

I start today with child care, a responsibility of this minister, where there are numerous failings. Not only are we the most expensive jurisdiction for child care in the country, but also we fail to meet many of the national benchmarks. The 2014 report on government services shows that the ACT has a long way to go.

Here in the ACT, child care generally accounts for about 12 per cent of gross income after subsidies, while the Australian average is much lower at eight per cent. Many ACT residents are now paying as much as $100 a day per child for this service, and these costs have doubled in the last six years alone.

We are not even up to scratch. In May last year the first report card of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority was released and it showed that, of the 51 centres assessed in Canberra, 35 failed to meet even one of the seven criteria. The criteria focus on education, health and safety and the physical environment,

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