Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Matters of Public Importance
Early Childhood Education: Preschool Funding
I'm telling you who proposed it. You know who proposed it. You plunged those families into poverty, and we're still struggling with the issues today. They had three- or four-year-old kids who would go to early childhood education centres. And you know you regret doing that. We are now dealing with the consequences of that all this time later, down the years. Why wasn't the Labor Party protecting the women of Australia who were single parents then? Why is that? You didn't think about the women across this nation who were single parents and deserved a better go than you gave them when you were in government. Why did you take money off those single-parent families? They're the ones that are affected right now—in their education, in what they can spend. If those women were in a regional area, they were impacted even further than women living in an urban area.
Opposition members interjecting—
I don't want a lecture from any of you. I know what you did. In the report on intergenerational welfare we're doing now, I'm working through the consequences of that, which your colleagues were very much a part of. It is a huge disappointment to me that I have been part of a parliament that actually treated a cohort of our community—those being single-parent families, the parent mostly being a woman—like that. Where were you in standing up for those women at that time? But I didn't get up to talk about that. I got up to talk about the early learning training centres—