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12 November 2008

389  MR MELHAM: To ask the Prime Minister—Further to the answer to question No. 104, ( Hansard , 28 May 2008, page 3746), why is the Governor-General provided with copies of Cabinet minutes, but not copies of Cabinet submissions.

407  MR MORRISON: To ask the Minister for Housing—How many applications received under the National Rental Affordability Scheme are fully compliant with the assessment criteria.

419  MRS MIRABELLA: To ask the Minister for Education—

(1) Is the $22  million provided by the Government to ABC Learning Centres a loan from the Government; if so, how and when will it be repaid.

(2) How was the $22 million figure calculated.

(3) Has the Government imposed conditions on the $22 million; if so, what are they.

(4) Have any guarantees been sought to ensure the Government’s $22 million is properly secured, or is this essentially viewed as a gift.

(5) Is the Government monitoring exactly how these funds are acquitted; if so, how frequent is the monitoring.

(6) At which ABC Learning Centres will the funds be spent.

(7) Why was 31 December 2008 chosen as the date to which the ABC Learning Centres will remain open.

(8) In respect of the 400 ABC Learning Centres she has identified as unprofitable: (a) which ones are unprofitable; (b) why are they unprofitable; (c) is this unprofitability linked to one-off factors or accounting treatments; (d) do any nonetheless have a positive cashflow; (e) which ones are expected to close after 31 December 2008; and (f) are any located in the priority areas the Government has identified, under its reform agenda, for building 260 new childcare centres.

(9) Have the ABC Learning Centres provided weekly reports on their vacancy rates and has the Childcare Industry Taskforce (CIT) been monitoring these.

(10) Since January 2008, what were the vacancy rates of the: (a) 400 unprofitable; and (b) profitable, ABC Learning Centres.

(11) Has any recent demographic analysis been undertaken on the demand for childcare across Australia.

(12)  What analysis has the Government undertaken to determine areas of demand for childcare.

(13) Which childcare industry representatives has she met with to discuss the problems relating to ABC Learning Centres: (a) as at 6 November 2008; and (b) since 6 November 2008.

(14) How and when will the Government determine what other market operators can be part of the solution.

(15) Will the Government assist not-for-profit organisations with buying ABC Learning Centres; if so, will the $22 million cover the cost of this assistance, or will further funding be required.

(16)  Has she or her department held any discussions with potential buyers of ABC Learning Centres.

(17) Aside from the $22 million, what are the other aspects of the Government’s contingency plan for ABC Learning Centres, particularly beyond 31 December 2008.

(18) Has the CIT sought any economic modelling or general information from Treasury on the impact on the economy (on productivity and growth, and particularly female labour supply) if the 400 unprofitable ABC Learning Centres are forced to close and families lose their childcare places for the short to medium term.

(19) In light of the collapse, is the Government reviewing its plan to build 260 new childcare centres.