darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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June 22, 2010

Establishing a childcare service in Yarram will continue to be a high priority for local community representatives who recently discussed a range of future options for a service with Yarram Childcare Group Secretary, Alison Payne.

The meeting facilitated by The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, also involved Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan and Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Scott Rossetti.

Discussions focused on opportunities to develop a service as part of a hub of community-based services and the meeting agreed that Council would continue to work with the childcare committee to develop a preferred option. The meeting also discussed the difficulty in obtaining funding following the Rudd Government’s broken promise to build 260 childcare centres.

Mr Chester has also taken the issue to Federal Parliament and endeavoured to bring the lack of services to the attention of the Minister.

“At the time of the government’s announcement that it would now build only 38 childcare centres, there was a justification put forward by the government and the ridiculous proposition by the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth, who claimed there are enough childcare places around Australia,” Mr Chester told Parliament.

“It does beg the question to the Minister: what about Yarram? When will you start looking seriously at the needs of small, regional towns?

“The Yarram district community has worked for several years to try and achieve childcare facilities on behalf of working parents in the region.

“It makes it very difficult for a small regional centre to attract professionals—particularly those in the health industry—when there are no support services for mothers, in particular, returning to the workforce.”

Mr Chester highlighted recent quotes from the Minister’s own press releases to push the case for the Minister to ‘extend her watching brief to include the community of Yarram’.

“The question for the community is where to go next, given the government’s broken promise and the government’s decision to change the rules halfway through the process,” Mr Chester said.

“Families in regional areas such as Gippsland certainly deserve better than broken promises when it comes to key community issues such as childcare services.”

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