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Thursday, 25 February 2010
Page: 1149


Senator WORTLEY (9:32 AM) —On behalf of the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall withdraw business of the Senate notice of motion No. 1 standing in my name for 12 sitting days after today for the disallowance of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) (Release of Protected Information) (DEEWR) Determination 2009 (No. 1). I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the committee’s correspondence concerning the instrument.

Leave granted.

The correspondence read as follows—

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) (Release of Protected Information) (DEEWR) Determination 2009 (No. 1).

26 November 2009

The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth Suite M1.44

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

I mu writing in relation to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) (Release of Protected Information) (DEEWR) Determination 2009 (No. 1) made under subsection 162(3) of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999. This instrument specifies additional purposes relating to the Support for the Child Care System Program for which protected information may be obtained, recorded, disclosed or otherwise used.

The Explanatory Statement that accompanies this instrument notes that consultation was not considered necessary because the Determination is beneficial in nature. The Committee draws to your attention section 18 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 that does not exhaustively define instances where consultation may be unnecessary or inappropriate. It is arguable that the beneficial nature of an instrument is not a sufficient reason to dispense with consultation (for example, consultation may produce feedback that improves the beneficial effect of the instrument).

The Committee would appreciate your advice on the above matter as soon as possible, but before 22 January 2010, to enable it to finalise its consideration of this Determination. Correspondence should be directed to the Chair, Senate

Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, Room SG49, Parliament House, Canberra.

Yours sincerely

Senator Dana Wortley Chair

 

22 February 2010

Senator Dana Wortley

Chair

Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances Room SG49

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Thank you for your letter of 26 November 2009 on behalf of the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances concerning A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) (Release of Protected Information) (DEEWR) Determination 2009 (No. I) made by me under subsection 162(3) of the A New Tax System (Faintly Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (Administration Act). I have noted the Committee’s feedback that beneficial instruments may still benefit from consultation. I apologise for the delay in responding.

Information about child care vacancies has been collected from services and disseminated to the public via the Child Care Access Hotline since 2006. Under the previous Government, there was no consistency in the information provided to families as vacancies were reported based on the business model of individual services.

This Government is committed to improving the information available to families about child care. The quality and consistency of information on child care availability has been improved through issuing a standard definition of a child care vacancy. In August 2009, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations also wrote to child care services notifying them that vacancy information was expected to be disclosed on the mychild website later in the year. This step was taken to increase transparency of the child care market and to improve the accessibility of information that assists families to make informed decisions. A determination was issued as this was the first time that vacancy information collected by the Department would be available via a website. The letter advised services to contact the Child Care Management System Helpdesk if they had any enquiries.

Given the contact that was made with child care services prior to publishing vacancy information on the mychild website, as well as the beneficial nature of the determination, I considered further specific consultation was not required.

Thank you for bringing the Committee’s concerns to the Govermnent’s attention. Yours sincerely

Kate Ellis

Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth