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Defence childcare soon to be secured.



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

www.defence.gov.au

Friday, 13 March 2009 036/2009

DEFENCE CHILDCARE SOON TO BE SECURED

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today welcomed news that the sale and transfer process for the ABC2 Group Child Care Centres is progressing well.

While contracts for the sale of the first 65 centres have started being exchanged, the receiver has requested that the Australian Government seek a one-off continuation of their appointment for six weeks because of the number and complexity of offers received, as well as the large number of stakeholders involved.

Today Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed that subject to the approval of the Supreme Court of NSW to the continued receivership, the Government will continue to fund losses during this period, up to 15 May 2009, drawing from unused funds from the previous $58 million commitment. No additional funding will be required.

Minister Snowdon further assured Defence families that arrangements to secure a single new provider for the 21 Defence owned and leased centres would be in place in the very near future.

“I am confident that arrangements with a new provider will soon be in place,” Mr Snowdon said.

“Within the next fortnight, I expect to be able to write to Defence Families that use Defence Childcare Centres to advise them of the arrangements with the new provider.”

Defence intends to novate the existing management contract for the 21 Defence owned and leased centres under the current terms and conditions to keep the child care centres under a national management model.

Defence will continue to monitor a further 20 centres where Defence has priority access arrangements in place. Today’s announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister means ongoing support to ensure stability to Australian Defence Force families using these centres.

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664