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Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Page: 76


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues) (3:05 PM) —In my answer to a question on child care, I may have shorthanded my description of the benefits to grandparents with primary responsibility for their grandchildren. I want to make sure that is clarified. The first measure allows grandparents with primary responsibility for caring for their grandchildren to access up to 50 hours of child care, even if they do not meet the work, study or training test.


Senator Chris Evans —Mr President, I rise on a point of order. What is the minister seeking to do and with what authority? I do not know what she is seeking to do, so I would like that clarified.


The PRESIDENT —I thought the minister was providing further information to a question she answered today.


Senator Chris Evans —Are you saying that she did not answer it correctly? It was a dorothy dixer, and now she wants to finish it off. I do not know under what standing order that is permitted.


The PRESIDENT —I am informed that it is a practice for ministers to provide further information after question time.


Senator PATTERSON —And I would have thought that the honourable senator would expect that people would want the full information. I shorthanded the version. I am now just clarifying it, to make sure that it is very clear. The first measure allows grandparents with primary responsibility for caring for their grandchildren to access up to 50 hours of child care, even if they do not meet the work, study or training test. We have waived the work, study or training test for these grandparents. The second measure is to allow grandparents with primary responsibility for caring for their grandchildren and who are receiving income support to get a special rate of child-care benefit covering the full cost of child care.