Page 3186 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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So again I go to the total inability of the Canberra Liberals, in particular Mr Doszpot, to understand what the announcement today is about. It is around delivering certainty for families. It is about the ACT Labor government not waiting any longer for the commonwealth to sign the national partnership, because we understand the need to get on and give Canberra families certainty.

Mr Doszpot: You have got a very short memory.

MS BURCH: He is interjecting over there by saying I have got a short memory. No, my memory is clear. We got to November of last year before the commonwealth signed this national partnership and I made a commitment then that I would not get to November this year and still be waiting for the commonwealth to sign an NP for Canberra families.

Here we are in the middle of September and that is why we have made a guarantee, a commitment, that regardless of what the commonwealth do—and I certainly hope they do not now renege on their negotiations and pull out altogether; that would be a turn-up for Canberra families, if the commonwealth were to do that—I will not wait any longer. We, this ACT Labor government, have given that guarantee to Canberra families.

I put this motion on the notice paper back in May, because I had concerns around the federal government’s inconsistency in support of Canberra families and inconsistencies in their approach to early childhood care. Here we are in September. I have made an announcement and the same concerns still exist.

I just reflect on some of the comments by Mr Doszpot and Ms Lawder, particularly the almost priceless amendment by Ms Lawder, point (e) of which states that “the ACT government has a role to play in ensuring family day care in the ACT is more affordable and accessible”.

Here today we have heard examples provided by Family Day Care Australia that indeed the community support program is going to rip places out of family day care and put a budget hole in service providers’ bottom line. I would say: write to your colleagues, your federal counterparts, and say that the federal government has a very clear role in ensuring family day care is affordable and accessible.

I refer to the two providers that I made mention of before. Provider No 1 has a potential combined loss—courtesy of the CSP, the community support program that Ms Lawder was speaking so highly of—of over $330,000. Is it even eligible under the new criteria to receive CSP funding? No. That is a good outcome. That is a great policy that the Canberra Liberals are supporting. Service No 2, as I said, has a potential combined loss of over $150,000. Under the new criteria, is it eligible to receive CSP funding? No. That is a great outcome. These are just two services here. I could go through all of them, but these are just two. They are real examples provided to Family Day Care Australia. A combined loss of close on half a million dollars will see services diminished, and that is what Ms Lawder and the Canberra Liberals want to see.

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