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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Labor’s child care push penalises parents

Labor wants to penalise parents by restricting them from gaining access to child care places, Families and Community Services Minister said today.

A media statement today by Opposition Childcare spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek has demonstrated she has little understanding of childcare.

“Her statement was wrong and misrepresented a Howard Government Bill that will assist parents in areas of greatest demand gain access to child care,” Mr Brough said.

“The purpose of the measure is to allow the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to redistribute places to areas that can use them.”

Mr Brough said Labor’s plan will ensure that unused places would sit idle for at least 12 months.

“Parents in areas of demand would fully expect that an available child care place should be redirected from providers where they are not being used to areas where they can be used,” Mr Brough said.

“At a time when Labor is claiming there is a child care shortage across Australia, they are opposing measures to make it easier to help parents access child care.

“Parents would rightly expect that unused child care places be allocated quickly to areas of demand.

“Labor’s proposal is a retrograde step and will not improve flexibility.”

The Howard Government has doubled the number of child care places to 600,000 over the past 10 years.