STRATHFIELD ONE-STOP CHILD CARE SERVICE
TUESDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ANU incident; Cheaper Child Care; Voice referendum.
SALLY SITOU, MEMBER FOR REID: We’re here at Strathfield One-Stop Child Care. It’s a fantastic community-based facility and I really wanted the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare, to come and meet the amazing staff who have been here for decades, as well as meet the incredible parent community who make this place the wonderful place it is and such a heart of the community here. Jason.
JASON CLARE, MINISTER FOR EDUCATION: Thanks very much Sally, it’s great to be with you. You are an awesome Member of Parliament, and this is such a terrific place to visit on a beautiful, warm spring day.
Can I talk about a couple of things this morning. First, I just want to comment on the horrific attack that happened at the Australian National University yesterday afternoon. I think I speak for all Australians when I say that our thoughts are with the two young women who were stabbed yesterday at the university and are currently in hospital, as well as the young men that were attacked as well. And on behalf of all Australians, can I thank the police for their quick action. Can I thank the ambulance officers for the work they did, the ANU security staff and the hospital staff right now. The doctors and the nurses that are helping those young women to recover. I spoke to the Vice Chancellor of ANU yesterday afternoon and made it very, very clear that the Australian Government stands ready to do anything that we can here. Australia is a safe place. We’re a safe place to live, to work, to study and when things like this happen, it just makes it all the more shocking.
To some better news to talk about here today at Strathfield One Stop Child Care, making child care cheaper. Apart from the mortgage or the rent, it’s one of the biggest bills that a lot of families pay. It’s one of the biggest bills that more than a million Australian families pay. And our Cheaper Child Care laws are making it cheaper. Under the Coalition Government, over about ten years, the cost of child care went up by about 49 per cent.
In the first week of these laws, we’ve cut the out-of-pocket costs on average for parents by about 14 per cent. And that can make a lot of difference. It means more money in the pockets of more mums and dads. It means more children can get more time in care. And for some parents, it gives them the choice to go back to work, to work more paid hours or more paid days. So, it really is the trifecta. It’s good for kids, good for parents and good for the economy. I might ask Jacqui to say a few words about what it means for you, because you’ve got three little ones, one here in early education, but two in out of school care as well. So, they benefit as well from the cuts to child care costs.
JACQUI: Yeah, that’s right. I think with the cost-of-living skyrocketing, every bit counts. So having, my child comes here five days a week, so I’ve been able to see a bit of a difference, which helps towards the bills and cost of living. So, thank you.
CLARE: No worries at all.
Just finally, just a few comments on the referendum.
Australians will start to vote in just two weeks’ time. In two weeks, Australia gets to make a really important choice. And nowhere is that more important than here in NSW or here in Western Sydney. Here in NSW, we could make the crucial decision about whether Australia as a nation votes yes or no, whether we make the best country in the world even better and even fairer.
The Voice is not a Labor idea, it’s not a Liberal idea. It’s the idea of Indigenous Australians. They’re reaching out with their hand outstretched, asking Australians to shake that hand. We have a choice in a couple of weeks’ time about whether we shake that hand or whether we slap it away. And I’m confident that Australians will shake that hand. Voting yes means shaking that hand, not slapping it away. Voting yes gives us a chance to make the best country in the world even better and even fairer.
Voting no equals no solutions. Voting no equals no solutions for a group of Aussies who are more likely to die at childbirth than the rest of us. Voting no equals no solutions for a group of Aussies who are more likely to die younger than the rest of us. Voting no equals no solutions for a group of Aussies who are more likely to suffer chronic illness than the rest of us. And voting no equals no solutions for a group of Australians who, if you’re an Indigenous bloke today, you’re more likely to go to jail than university.
I think Aussies want solutions. Australians know this is the best country in the world and voting yes in a couple of weeks’ time gives us a chance to make the best country in the world even better and even fairer.
Thanks very much.