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Child care crisis keeping Chifley parents out of work.



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ROGER PRICE MP Federal Member for Chifley

MEDIA RELEASE 3rd November 2005

CHILD CARE CRISIS KEEPING CHIFLEY PARENTS OUT OF WORK

The Howard Government’s inaction on the worsening child care crisis is preventing Chifley parents from moving from welfare to work, according to Federal Chifley MP Roger Price.

Mr Price made the comments after lodging his child care petition with the Federal Parliament’s table office yesterday.

The petition, signed by 259 local residents, draws attention to the rising cost of child care and the Government’s failure to meet an ever-growing demand.

The petition notes the Prime Minister’s do-nothing approach to the problem and calls on the House of Representatives to support a National summit on child care.

“There is a critical shortage of affordable child care places in Chifley and it is preventing parents, especially mothers, from moving into the workforce or working as many hours as they would like.

“The cost of child care has increased by 12% over the past year, five times the rate of other goods and services, while the average weekly fee for child care in New South Wales is now $225 per child.

“For many families in Western Sydney the cost is simply prohibitive.”

Mr Price said a national summit would force the Howard Government to listen to the concerns of a range of stakeholders.

“This Government stopped listening to the concerns of ordinary Australians a long time ago.

“A national summit would provide all the relevant stakeholders; the child care providers, the parents, the community groups and state agencies with the opportunity to share their stories and experiences.

“It’s the best way to ensure the message gets across to this uncaring and arrogant Government. “

Mr Price said improved access to affordable child care was crucial for Western Sydney due to the relatively high proportion of young families living in the region.

“The Prime Minister is always on the lookout for barbeque stoppers, well for many Western Sydney families, child care is one of the real barbeque stoppers.

“Western Sydney Liberal MPs Louise Markus and Jackie Kelly have been vocal supporters of the Government’s flawed welfare to work policy and yet here we have a situation where people who want to work can’t and we don’t hear a peep

out of them.

“Once again they have failed to stand up for the people they were elected to represent,” Mr Price said.

For more information contact Darren Flynn on (02) 6277 4085 or 0417 416 144.