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Thursday, 14 November 1985
Page: 2137

Senator PETER BAUME(11.19) —I thank the Minister for Community Services (Senator Grimes) for his response. There is no need to prolong this matter much longer. However, as I listened to the Minister's answer it seemed to me that the difficulty which faces the Prahran Council is that there does not seem to be any agreed standard provision package. The argument then appears to be what is a proper standard for the provision of child care. I ask the Minister whether any attempt is being made now to develop and promulgate what might be called a common standard of child care?

It appears that the Prahran City Council would not have gone into this exercise, which was not a Council initiative, except that it was asked by the Commonwealth and the State so to do. It was approached by the Commonwealth and the State in August 1984 with an offer based on the various documents which I indicated earlier. Because of a communications block, people have a different appreciation of what is meant by the term `proper levels of provision'. I understand that the Council received a subsidy from the Victorian Government of $175,000, which helped it to build the centre, but it also added $100,000 of ratepayers' money and provided $60,000 to purchase the site. So already it has a significant investment, the Victorian Government has a significant investment and the Commonwealth Government has an investment in what it hopes to achieve. It all seems to be foundering now on some common appreciation of what is an appropriate level of provision.