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The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the motion of Mr Tudge—That this House:

(1)    affirms its strong support for all forms of early childhood learning and recognises the importance of pre-school on the development of children and as a foundation for their future education;

(2)    notes that the Gillard Government has mandated that ‘four-year-old kindergartens’ provide at least 15 hours per week of instruction by a university-trained teacher by 2013 under its ‘Universal Access’ policy;

(3)    notes that the Gillard Government has not considered the consequences of its ‘Universal Access’ policy on Victorian kindergartens where ‘three-year-old kindergarten’ is more commonly offered than by other jurisdictions;

(4)    notes that the consequence of ‘Universal Access’ on Victoria’s kindergartens is that many will no longer be able to offer ‘three-year-old kindergarten’ programs because facilities are often shared between three and ‘four-year-old kindergarten’ programs;

(5)    acknowledges that this policy will effectively remove the choice for many Victorian parents of sending their three-year-old children to kindergarten;

(6)    notes that some rural kindergartens could face the risk of closure because there is a shortage of qualified teachers in rural areas, and due to the increase in mandated hours, many rural kindergartens will no longer be able to share teachers;

(7)    notes that warnings of this imminent crisis for Victoria’s kindergartens have been given directly to the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth by the Municipal Association of Victoria, parent groups, kindergarten operators and parliamentarians; and

(8)    calls on the Government to:

(a)    provide flexibility for kindergarten operators to deliver kindergarten services according to the needs of their own communities and in line with local infrastructure and staffing capacity; or

(b)   at the very least, provide flexibility on the start date for the implementation of ‘Universal Access’—

Debate resumed by Mr Bandt who moved as an amendment—That paragraphs 3 to 8 be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

(3)    calls on the Federal Government and the Victorian Government to work together to ensure that:

(a)    the principles of ‘Universal Access’ are fully implemented in Victoria; and

(b)   each kindergarten in Victoria is sufficiently funded to meet its ‘Universal Access’ obligations without compromising its ability to offer thee-year-old kindergarten.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

Question—That the motion be agreed to—put.


The House divided (the Speaker, Mr Jenkins, in the Chair)—

AYES, 72

Mr Abbott

Mr Fletcher

Mr McCormack

Mr Ruddock

Mr Alexander

Mr Forrest

Mr Macfarlane

Mr Schultz

Mr K. J. Andrews

Mr Frydenberg

Ms Marino

Mr Scott

Mrs K. L. Andrews

Mrs Gash

Mrs Markus

Mr Secker*

Mr Baldwin

Mrs Griggs

Mr Matheson

Mr Simpkins

Mr Billson

Mr Haase

Mrs Mirabella

Mr Slipper

Mrs B. K. Bishop

Mr Hartsuyker

Mr Morrison

Mr A. D. H. Smith

Ms J. I. Bishop

Mr A. G. Hawke

Mr Neville

Mr Somlyay

Mr Briggs

Mr Hockey

Mr Oakeshott

Dr Southcott

Mr Broadbent

Mr Hunt

Mr O’Dowd

Dr Stone

Mr Buchholz

Mr Irons

Ms O’Dwyer

Mr Tehan

Mr Chester

Dr Jensen

Mrs Prentice

Mr Truss

Mr Christensen

Mr E. T. Jones

Mr Pyne

Mr Tudge

Mr Cobb

Mr Katter

Mr Ramsey

Mr Turnbull

Mr Coulton*

Mr Keenan

Mr Randall

Mr van Manen

Mr Crook

Mr C. Kelly

Mr Robb

Mr Vasta

Mr Dutton

Mr Laming

Mr Robert

Mr Windsor

Mr Entsch

Ms Ley

Mr Wyatt Roy

Mr Wyatt


NOES, 68

Mr Adams

Mr Danby

Mr S. P. Jones

Mr Perrett

Mr Albanese

Mrs D’Ath

Dr M. J. Kelly

Ms Plibersek

Mr Bandt

Mr Dreyfus

Ms King

Mr Ripoll

Ms Bird

Mrs Elliot

Dr Leigh

Ms Rishworth

Mr Bowen

Ms Ellis

Ms Livermore

Ms Rowland

Mr Bradbury

Dr Emerson

Mr Lyons

Ms Roxon

Ms Brodtmann

Mr L. D. T. Ferguson

Mr McClelland

Ms Saffin

Ms A. E. Burke

Mr M. J. Ferguson

Ms Macklin

Mr Shorten

Mr A. S. Burke

Mr Fitzgibbon

Mr Marles

Mr Sidebottom

Mr Butler

Mr Garrett

Mr Melham

Ms Smyth

Mr Byrne

Mr Gibbons

Mr Mitchell

Mr Snowdon

Mr Champion

Ms Gillard

Mr Murphy

Mr Swan

Mr Cheeseman

Ms Grierson

Mr Neumann

Mr Symon

Mr Clare

Mr Griffin

Mr O’Connor

Mr C. R. Thomson

Ms Collins

Ms Hall*

Ms O’Neill

Ms Vamvakinou

Mr Combet

Mr Hayes

Ms Owens

Mr Wilkie

Mr Crean

Mr Husic*

Ms Parke

Mr Zappia

* Tellers


Mr Rudd                         Mrs Moylan

Mr S. F. Smith               Dr Washer

Mr K. J. Thomson          Mr Ciobo

Mr Gray                         Ms Gambaro

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.