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Opportunity to have your say on paid parental leave.



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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au W www.davidhawker.com.au

Federal Member for Wannon

17 October 2008 OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

Local residents are being urged to “have their say” on the proposed paid parental leave scheme being considered by the Federal Government.

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said that it was important that all sectors of the community had input on the scheme, which would have a major long-term impact on local workplaces and families.

“The Productivity Commission released a draft report on Parental Leave last month, and is now calling for written submissions by 14th November,” he said.

“A taxpayer-funded paid parental scheme has been debated for many years. The current proposal is for 18 weeks paid maternity leave at the minimum wage for those in the workforce and retaining a “baby bonus” type payment for those not in the workforce.

“The Productivity Commission wants input before it puts its final recommendation to the Government in early February. This is an opportunity for local residents to have their say, and I encourage them to do so.”

Mr Hawker said he would continue to personally canvass the views of local residents and listen to the concerns of local small businesses.

“We have to make sure we get the balance right - supporting all parents, encouraging workforce participation, and ensuring that we don’t impose too great a burden on small businesses,” he said.

“We also have to make sure that all mothers, whether they continue paid work, opt out of the workforce for a short period, or choose to care for their children full-time, are treated fairly and equitably.

“The current economic uncertainty is likely to put pressure on family budgets - so it’s important we look closely at the benefits and impacts of a paid maternity scheme. I’ll continue to fight for the needs of local parents and I encourage all interested local residents to have their say and make a submission.”

Submissions must be received by Friday 14th November and can be sent to: Parental Leave Inquiry, Productivity Commission, GPO Box 1428, Canberra City, ACT 2601, or emailed to: parentalsupport@pc.gov.au A copy of the draft report can be found online at : www.pc.gov.au

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118