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Parenting is not unfilling.

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Senator Meg Lees Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia

Press Release Dated: 3 Nov 2000

Press Release Number: 00/676

Portfolio: Income Support Related: Status of Women

Parenting is not unfulfilling Parenting is a challenging, difficult and intensely rewarding role and its value must not be diminished, according to the Australian Democrats.

Democrats’ Leader, Senator Meg Lees, speaking to the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children in Adelaide today, rejected the statement made by Senator Jocelyn Newman this week that sole parents could take on a more fulfilling role in society.

Responding to a question from the Democrats in Question Time this week Senator Newman said waving one’s children off to school is not fulfilling.

“The Democrats are concerned that statements like these indicate the Government’s intention to extend punitive breaching provisions to sole parents,” said Senator Lees.

“Sole parents need supportive programs in order to return to work, rather than punitive ‘watch-dog’ measures.

“Sole parents are not ‘welfare bludgers’ nor do they leave unfulfilling lives. Their role in caring for young Australians without the support of a partner needs to be recognised as a very important one.

“Research shows that sole parents do pursue employment, training and education options when their parenting responsibilities allow them to.

“Sole parents and other people on income support need trust, encouragement, support and assistance in overcoming the barriers to employment, such as affordable and quality childcare, education, transport and housing.

“Statements such as that from Senator Newman this week only give support to the myth that sole parents deliberately contrive to get on to parenting payment and then want to stay on it forever,” said Senator Lees.

“Sole parents generally stay on an allowance for less than 3 years, and less than 2% are teenagers.

“The Australian Democrats believe that people will take opportunities available to them to participate in education and training, and they must be treated with dignity,” concluded Senator Lees.


Top | Email | Tell us what you think Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Tue, 07 Nov 2000 08:45:07