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Worrying time ahead for local parents.



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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

27 November 2008

WORRYING TIME AHEAD FOR LOCAL PARENTS

Local parents in Western Victoria who rely on ABC Learning Centres for the care of their children have found themselves in very uncertain circumstances thanks to the handling of this situation by the Labor Government , Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

“Today’s announcement that some ABC Learning Centres will remain open in 2009 and some centres that are subject to further review may close certainly isn’t all great news for local parents in our region,” Mr Hawker said.

“While I welcome the assurance that 656 ABC Learning Centres will remain operational in 2009, the fact that 386 centres around the country - including centres from our region in Hamilton and Stawell - may close is particularly concerning for local parents and I urge the Government to work effectively with the receiver to ensure local parents are not left without a childcare centre in their local area.

“The possible closure of these centres will be a disaster for local parents who rely on ABC Learning to care for their children while they are at work.”

“It is now essential that the Government finally come clean and be honest with Australian parents and make public their so-called contingency plans and how they will protect and support parents and children whose centres may close in the New Year,” Mr Hawker said.

“I implore the Government to assist parents by developing a coherent strategy for the children who may be affected by any closures.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118