House debates

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Statements by Members

Batman Electorate: Yappera Children's Centre

1:33 pm

Photo of David FeeneyDavid Feeney (Batman, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Justice) Share this | | Hansard source

Recently I had the privilege to visit the Yappera Children's Service in my home electorate of Batman. Like so many child-care centres across the country, Yappera provides a safe and supportive environment for children at a critical time of their development. Where Yappera differs from most centres is in the range of multifunctional child-care services provided, including a variety of maternal health and specialist care programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from across Victoria.

Many of the children who attend Yappera are at risk. In some cases, Yappera provides the only stability in an often fragile young life. A stable and supportive environment provided for their young minds to explore and grow, gain confidence and pride in their culture is essential if we as a nation truly wish to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage. That is why the Abbott government's decision to cut $230 million in assistance from the child-care benefit by freezing income thresholds, affecting more than 500,000 families, is significantly impacting on the Indigenous community and is an anathema to the Prime Minister's stated claim of being the Prime Minister for Indigenous Australia.

While Tony Abbott looks after high-income earners, with his unfair Paid Parental Leave scheme, he has clearly forgotten about the families and children who rely on the CCB and BBF to access the benefits of early-childhood education.