The final sitting weeks of parliamentary sessions are usually frantic and febrile – never more so than when, as now, the Government lacks a majority in the Senate and needs to force or negotiate its legislation through before a deadline.
The federal Government’s early childhood education and care reforms have passed the Senate and the Prime Minister says they will deliver more affordable, accessible and flexible services for families.
The political theatre of Malcolm Turnbull’s new ‘tough guy’ persona and the more serious but unenlightening debate around the short comings of the major parties’ approaches to energy policy largely over-shadowed the important policy and Budget debate around the Government’s welfare and child care package.
The Government says it will persist with efforts to persuade cross-bench senators to support the measures contained in its so-called omnibus bill affecting childcare subsidies, paid parental leave and family tax benefits.
The ALP says a Shorten Labor government will act to address the issue of childcare waiting lists and help parents return to work faster.
Labor Party leader Bill Shorten says that a Labor government would ensure that every Australian child had the opportunity to develop safe water skills.
With the resumption of parliament negotiations are likely to restart between the Government and Senate cross-benchers on the Government’s proposed changes to Family Tax Benefits and childcare payments.
The Government’s family payments and childcare reform package remained under negotiation when Parliament rose on Thursday 3 December for its summer break.
The Productivity Commission has recommended a major overhaul of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services, which now account for about $7 billion a year of Commonwealth expenditure.
Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley has welcomed the final report of the Productivity Commission on its inquiry into child care and early childhood learning.
Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley has established a Ministerial Advisory Council for Child Care and Early Learning.
The Productivity Commission has released a draft report on its inquiry into “Childcare and Early Childhood Learning”.