Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 3 August 2017) . . Page.. 2503 ..
access, which provides 15 hours of free preschool education each week—12 hours funded by the ACT government, with an additional three hours co-funded with the federal government. I have publicly, on a number of occasions, called on the federal minister to confirm that that funding will continue. Mr Birmingham, the federal education minister, has never, ever confirmed that that will be the case. In fact, he has all but said that that funding will not continue and that the federal government considers it has dealt with the issue of affordability for early childhood education through changes to the childcare benefit.
If you are a sole parent struggling to make ends meet, no childcare benefit or arrangements in that space will allow you to afford early childhood education in a long day care setting. That means that children of low income families and single parents will miss out because of the cuts that the federal government has refused to confirm will not go ahead. That affects all of us. When the children of single-parent families are not properly prepared for the life that they are about to go into in preschool, all of us pay for that and all of us are responsible for that in our community.
We want strong and inclusive communities and we want to make sure every child gets the best chance at the best quality education possible. Education is vitally important, but it cannot be accessed by single families who are struggling to make ends meet. It continues to be available at the moment, but there is no guarantee that that will continue. A couple of things are out of our control, and we call on the federal government to implement domestic and family violence leave, which will support single-parent families, and to continue funding universal access so that single-parent families experiencing financial stress can continue to ensure that young people in their lives get the best start to a quality education in preschool before they go into kindergarten and primary school.
Environment and Transport and City Services—Standing Committee
Statement by chair
MS ORR (Yerrabi) (3.58): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services for the Ninth Assembly relating to statutory appointments in accordance with continuing resolution 5A. Continuing resolution 5A requires standing committees which consider statutory appointments to report on a six-monthly basis and present a schedule listing appointments considered during the applicable period.
The schedule is required to include the statutory appointments considered and, for each appointment, the date the request from the responsible minister for consultation was received and the date the committee’s feedback was provided. For the applicable reporting period, 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017, the committee considered the appointment of five part-time appointments to one statutory body. In that case, the committee advised the minister it had no comment to make on the appointments proposed.