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Patients want a guarantee on ABC Learning, not lip service: Mirabella.

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Mrs Sophie Mirabella MP Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare, Women and Youth

Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Childcare, Sophie Mirabella has today slammed Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard for the appalling incompetence over the Rudd Government’s so called contingency plans for ABC Learning Centres.

“The Minister for Education Julia Gillard has made it very clear the Rudd Government is ‘working on contingency plans’ and ‘hoping that these contingencies will never be needed’. What are these contingencies? Why won’t the Minister make public the Government’s plan if ABC Learning collapses? These are questions Julia Gillard must answer,” Mrs Mirabella said.

“It is simply not good enough for the parents of the more than 100,000 children who attend ABC Learning Centres around the country to be told upfront by the Labor Government: “trust us we have a plan.”

“Australian mums and dads need to know that the Government has a plan and is ready to deal with the possibilities and uncertainties facing ABC Learning. That is why a guarantee must be given today that in the event of ABC collapsing, parents will have a place for their children to go.”

“The Federal Government backs the childcare industry with billions of tax payers’ dollars and families with children in care require certainty and full disclosure of the Government’s intentions in relation to ABC Learning. The Queensland Labor Government obviously recognises the need for action as it has established a Taskforce to assist childcare operators facing difficulties but Federal Labor still just talks,” Mrs Mirabella said.

If Ms Gillard refuses to provide a guarantee for the childcare places that could be lost and refuses to detail a specific plan of action, then we can only assume that there is no plan at all to cope with the chaos that will ensue for the families of children enrolled at ABC Learning Centres if it falters, Mrs Mirabella concluded.