Mr PASIN (Barker) (19:50): Those of the 46th Parliament would remember that I spoke in this place on numerous occasions about the need to improve access to childcare in our regions. I rise in the 47th Parliament to continue my advocacy in this space.
While the Labor government held a talkfest last week about skills and employment and have indicated they will support the unions in their fight for more membership, they’ve failed to do something very simple to assist the Kingston South East community see more parents re-enter the workforce.
Lack of child care has been holding back that community for many, many years. Enrol children before birth and drive 140 kilometres or don’t work: those are the options available to parents crying out for childcare services in this regional town already struggling to fill jobs.
The existing childcare service has a waiting list as long as the coastal town’s jetty. Despite the Labor Party making an election commitment to match the coalition’s funding of $1.8 million for a new childcare centre to be built, the community has heard nothing but crickets about the election commitment from those opposite.
The project all hinges on this funding. Without written confirmation from the federal Labor government—and Minister Aly in particular—of the $1.8 million and the time frame on delivering this funding, the project cannot move forward.
An issue that has been talked about for 40 years, a proactive community who have been working on this issue together, with my full support, and a local council working hard over five years all culminated in the announcement of federal funding from both major parties during the recent election campaign. And, yet, now the dust has settled from their election win, the Labor Party are now nowhere to be seen or heard.
The community who suffered during the Black Summer bushfires but didn’t receive the same support or attention as other regions are now feeling forgotten all over again. To those opposite, I say: it’s about time you put your money where your mouth is.
Don’t turn your back on this community. I’m going to remain a thorn in your side until you make good on your election commitment to the people who live, work and are raising a family in the community of Kingston South East of South Australia.
Media contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730