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Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Page: 5525

Ms LIVERMORE (Capricornia) (13:03): I give my strong support to the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Child Care Financial Viability) Bill 2011. The name of this bill says it all: child care financial viability. We know what this bill wants to achieve very clearly and we know what it seeks to avoid. Members have already talked about the spectacular collapse in 2008 of the ABC Learning company.

We all want to know, and the government wants to know, that companies running large numbers of our nation's childcare centres are well run and financially stable. To do that, this bill gives the government much-needed powers to monitor and assess the financial viability of companies that operate a large number of long day care centres. The bill introduces new requirements for large long day care entities to provide financial information to the government. This will enable the government to assess on an ongoing basis the financial viability of those companies. Under this legislation, the secretary of the department will be able to request financial information more frequently if there are concerns about a provider's financial viability. Also, following the passage of this legislation there will be power to commission an independent audit of large long day care providers where there are concerns about that provider's financial viability.

I am supporting this legislation because I never want families in my electorate to go through what they went through when ABC Learning collapsed almost overnight in 2008. I never want the dedicated and hardworking childcare workers in my electorate to go through what they went through, wondering whether their jobs were safe as the fallout from the ABC corporate meltdown became apparent in suburbs and towns across Australia.

I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.