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Thursday, 23 June 2011
Page: 7149

Families


Ms BURKE (Chisholm) (15:16): My question is to the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. How is the government delivering on its commitments to families?


Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) (15:17): I thank the member for Chisholm for her question. She knows that instead of the slurs and stunts that we see from those opposite this government is delivering to Australian families and to senior Australians and that we are also delivering on our election commitments.

In the last fortnight we have delivered legislation through this parliament that will see Australian families and seniors receive the following from 1 July: for seniors, the new work bonus delivered by this government to help Australian pensioners keep more of their pension when they take on some part-time work; new baby bonus payment arrangements so that parents will be able to receive that little bit more money up-front when they need to purchase items like a pram or a cot; more flexible arrangements for families—those receiving family tax benefits will get better advance payment arrangements so that if they face unexpected costs, like needing to fix their car when it breaks down, they will be able to do so; and new requirements of families receiving income support to help make sure that their children get the necessary health checks done before they start school. Also starting on 1 July is the extension to the education tax refund, making sure that we help cover the cost of school uniforms. This too is delivering another election commitment. Through the new A Better Start for Children with a Disability program—

Opposition members interjecting

Ms MACKLIN: Even this item is interjected on, with more slurs from those opposite. From 1 July, this government will enable those families who have a child with a disability to access up to $12,000 in early intervention funding for their child. All of these election commitments are being delivered by this government.

As I said yesterday in parliament, 1 July is a very significant milestone for our Paid Parental Leave scheme. From 1 July government funded paid parental leave will be delivered by employers for most babies who are born from that date. As we on this side of the parliament know, paid parental leave helps make sure that parents keep connected with their workplaces after they have a new baby. It was never delivered by those opposite, but now 65,000 families are benefiting from our Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Of course it is this government that is also delivering for parents with teenagers. That legislation, too, has gone through the parliament in the last fortnight, and from 1 January next year this government will deliver extra support to families with teenagers. It was never delivered by those opposite. All they want to do is deliver slurs and stunts; we will deliver for Australian families.