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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 98

Senator ALLISON (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (3:46 PM) —I move:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the critical shortage of child-care places, particularly in inner metropolitan areas,

(ii)   that there are, for instance, up to 1 600 children under 5 years of age on waiting lists for child-care places in the City of Port Phillip where there have been no new places made available in 2005 and where two centres will soon close to make way for residential development, and

(iii)   that women and their partners are being denied opportunities to re-join the workforce because of such long waiting lists; and

(b)   calls on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to:

(i)   identify, in conjunction with state and local governments, those areas in greatest need of child-care places,

(ii)   acknowledge that market forces are not delivering child-care places in those areas of need where real estate values make setting up new child-care centres unviable and that government intervention is required, and

(iii)   properly fund child-care so it is high quality, accessible and affordable.

Question agreed to.