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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 12023


Mr BILLSON (Dunkley) (13:54): Not only do I hope that Melbourne Cup day tomorrow is a great day for all but also I will be cheering on the small business community in the hope that they can see Governor Glenn Stevens and the Reserve Bank board make small business their business. I hope, with that insight in mind, the winning bet for Tuesday will be shot in the arm for the small business community and the retail economy—all those small traders and family enterprises struggling under a very difficult economic climate. I hope they have something to cheer about after cup day on Tuesday.

Another small business issue that is of major concern, though, is the impact of the government's changes in the childcare sector. Whilst we are seeing in many respects positive moves in the way in which the profession is being recognised and the enormous contribution of childcare workers being embraced and properly rewarded, there is a particular challenge in the way in which the government is going about these changes. The new ratios are making viability of real concern for a number of private sector childcare operators who are very conscious of the cost-of-living pressures on Australian families and know that the estimated cost impact of $6 to $7 per day passed on to families, even with the prospect of a rebate, will see a $15 to $25 a week increase for the cost of child care. But, in my own electorate, the not-for profit Lakewood Childcare Centre also is facing these challenges. We need to be mindful of how these transitions are handled to make sure these centres are— (Time expired)