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Tuesday, 27 February 2001
Page: 24568

Mr SECKER (10:55 PM) —Before I go into what I was prepared to say, can I give my support to what the member for Braddon was saying earlier. I think there is no doubt that we should be giving recognition to our national service people, whoever they were. I think it was quite disgraceful how especially our Vietnam veterans were treated when they came home. They were not welcomed back, and I believe that they were the only group that fought for this country who were not. Whether we believed it was a right or wrong fight, they should still have been welcomed back home in the proper way instead of having to wait 10 years for the welcome home parades. There is no doubt that it was because of the politics of the time—the fact that we had a Whitlam government at the time of the Vietnam war—that these national servicemen who served in Vietnam were disgracefully treated. One of the few things we can do is support what the member for Braddon suggested.

One of the things that we need to recognise as parliamentarians is that family needs in today's world are changing and there is a need for safe and secure care for children out of school hours. The coalition has recognised this and has committed $52,000 to an out-of-school-hours care program that goes across South Australia, with a fair hunk of that going to my electorate of Barker. Funding for an extra 75 places in out-of-school-hours care has been granted to Victor Harbor and Yankalilla. I was very much personally involved in the Yankalilla case, where funding of $2,055 was provided to the Yankalilla Primary School as a one-off grant for the purchase of play equipment and educational resources. A further $7,755 will be granted annually over a two-year period to assist with the establishment of that service. The funding will also help provide for another 30 vacation care places. The Victor Harbor reception to year 7 school was granted a one-off equipment and set-up grant of $3,544, and it will receive a recurrent establishment grant of $13,377 for two years to provide for another 45 vacation care places. In terms of a huge government budget, these are only small amounts, but I can assure everyone in this House that they are very warmly received by the families that make use of those facilities. These areas were identified as being of high need, and the funding is in recognition of the demands of work and family and the need for access to affordable and quality child-care services.

The elderly of the same region also received assistance with a grant awarded under the veterans and community grants scheme of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. In December, a grant of $29,751 was awarded to the City of Victor Harbor for the Southern Communities Transport Scheme. There is no public transport there, just as there is not in nearly all rural and regional areas in my electorate. Certainly, this was very welcome, because the grant aided the purchase of an extra vehicle to allow the Southern Communities Transport Scheme to improve and extend their service to veterans and their spouses and to widows or widowers. This is a scheme that provides a very important and much needed service to our veterans and their families from Goolwa, through to Port Elliot to Victor Harbor. Medi Ride provides transport for people to and from medical appointments both locally and in Adelaide, alongside its sister program, Dial a Ride, a community bus service which transports people to businesses and services in Victor Harbor. I would like to congratulate all those involved in this service for their success in obtaining this grant.

Finally, I would like to draw attention to the ongoing commitment that this government is giving to rural financial counselling services. Areas from Kangaroo Island, through the Mallee and the south-east of South Australia have all received extra ongoing funding to continue their services at least until June 2002. In the case of the South East Rural Counselling Service, that funding amounts to $100,000 for the 12 months from the middle of this year.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 11 p.m., the debate is interrupted.