House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Statements by Members

Dunkley Electorate: Langwarrin Community Centre

1:58 pm

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

This is how the Morrison government treats community centres in my electorate. The Langwarrin Community Centre, literally the heart of the Langwarrin community, do their work on the smell of an oily rag. Their childcare services were hit pretty hard in 2020, as many in my electorate were. They were encouraged by this government to waive gap fees and they did, because they care about the families that they look after. They were assured by this Morrison government, particularly when it ripped away JobKeeper from childcare workers, that their childcare subsidy was guaranteed, even when children weren't attending or not permitted to attend because of lockdowns. They took the guarantee at face value.

It turns out they shouldn't have. It was just another hollow promise. Because of problems with the government's own system, Services Australia improperly took $10,000 away from the Langwarrin Community Centre. After almost a year of trying to get that back, they had to come to me for help. We got half of it back from Minister Tudge. But do you know what the slap in the face was? This Morrison government wants my community centre to collect debts from their own struggling families that exist because of Minister Tudge's inadequate supervision of his department. It's outrageous. This community centre serves people who are in need, and this government wants to turn it into a debt collector. Shame!