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Wednesday, 16 August 1989
Page: 167

Senator NEWMAN —by leave-Mr Acting Deputy President, I wish to make a personal explanation. I claim to have been misrepresented. Mr Acting Deputy President, you will recall that just a few minutes ago Senator Crowley claimed that I oppose child-care and child-care centres. That is quite disgraceful misrepresentation. I do not oppose child-care centres. I have been on the record on many occasions in this place pointing out the inadequacies in the Government's provision of child-care centres, in particular for the defence forces.

Senator Cook —Mr Acting Deputy President, I take a point of order. If it is a personal explanation the honourable senator should say what is wrong and not make a speech. I ask you to direct Senator Newman to stick to the personal explanation.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Colston) —I call Senator Newman.

Senator NEWMAN —Thank you, Mr Acting Deputy President. On one occasion a year or so ago, this Government tried to introduce a child-care centre into the Parliamentary Triangle. You will recall that it did so without consultation with the National Trust and without going through the required-

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Newman, you are going beyond your personal explanation.

Senator NEWMAN —Mr Acting Deputy President, I am explaining the circumstances surrounding the only occasion to which Senator Crowley could possibly be referring. She was misrepresenting me and exaggerating the situation. So, if I may explain, in regard to the child-care centre that was to be introduced into the Parliamentary Triangle, the Government did not go through the normal procedures which have to be followed with developments in the Parliamentary Triangle, nor did it consult with the National Trust, which it was required to do. On those grounds I objected to the Government's high-handed attitude in trying to put a child care-centre in that location. I am, however, a strong believer in child-care as a productivity issue, not as a welfare issue. The Government has failed to provide any sort of leadership in the child-care area because it is determined that child-care will be provided only by the taxpayer, at enormous expense. There are other mechanisms.