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Coalition releases National Family Conference Papers

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Senator Jocelyn Newman

Shadow Minister for Defence

Dr David Kemp MP Shadow Minister for Education, Training & Family Services

Joint Media Statement

Coalition Releases National Family Conference Papers

The Coalition today continued the process of consultation and family policy development with the release of papers from the Coalition's National Family Conference.

Senator Newman and Dr Kemp said that the publication of the papers was an important step in the process of developing family policy. Placing families at the centre of public policy is a top priority of the Coalition. Family issues are now the principal concerns of most Coalition portfolios.

The community wide consultation process leading to the development of the Coalition's family policy was commenced by Senator Newman when she was Shadow Minister for the Family' and Health and Shadow Minister assisting the Leader on Family Matters. The process has included consultation with Local Government, grass roots members of the Liberal Party and a wide range of family interest groups. The National Conference, which took place on 15 May

of this year (International Family Day), was attended by members of the public and representatives from a large range of organisations which have an interest in family policy issues. Dr David Kemp, as Shadow Minister for Education, Training and Family Services, has continued this process leading to the major focus on families in the Coalition.

In September the Coalition released The Things That Matter, which included a National Family Strategy setting out the direction the Coalition believes is essential for family policy.

Senator Newman and Dr Kemp pointed out that while the Coalition had been active during the International Year of the Family, Labor had failed to utilise the Year as an opportunity to address important family policy issues. They said that Senator Crowley has been an utterly ineffective Family Services Minister, struggling to get on top of detail and quite incapable of establishing and promoting a vision for family policy which meets the needs of parents and children in Australia today.

In releasing the papers, Senator Newman and Dr Kemp thanked the speakers who addressed the Conference - Ita Buttrose, Susan Bastick, Professor Trang Thomas, Mr Charles Perkins, Professor Julian Disney, Mr Daryl Dixon, Dr Don Edgar, Professor Audrey VandenHeuvel,

Captain Jennifer Begent and the Reverend Jim Pilmer. A diverse range of policy ideas were raised by the speakers, across areas such as child care, industrial relations, prevention of family breakdown, and the taxation and welfare systems.

14 December 1994

Further information: Steven White (Senator Newman's office) 06 277 3660 or Andrew Laughlin (Dr Kemp's office) 03 557 4644. For a bound copy of the papers please contact Steven White.