Western Australia Minister for Community Services Robyn McSweeney
WA Disadvantaged Child Care Providers Miss Out On Federal Funding Due To Pork Barrelling
Victor P Taffa
Community Services Minister Robyn McSweeney said today she was appalled to learn that disadvantaged Western Australian Long-Day Care Providers have missed out on recently announced $20,000 Federal Government grants.
The grants totalling $3.8 Million will be provided from this month to help providers improve the quality of their centres and to purchase equipment and new toys in line with the Federal Government’s national quality agenda, with not one centre in WA a recipient of the funding.
“I would like to know why WA has missed out and I find it disgusting that our disadvantaged areas have not been given a look in.” Mrs. McSweeney said.
“When only 6 of the 190 centres receiving these grants sit in Liberal-held seats, I would suggest what we are seeing is deliberate pork barrelling by the Federal Government.”
“I question the sincerity of the Federal Government’s grants when not one Western Australian Long-Day Care Provider is a recipient of this funding.” Mrs. McSweeney said.
The Minister has called on the Hon Julia Gillard during her current visit to the State to explain why WA kids are missing out on much needed toys and capital improvements.
“I have never seen anything as blatant as this in the time I have been in politics and I intend on getting answers from my Federal counterparts at this week’s Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs Council being held in Perth.” Mrs. McSweeney said.
“It beggars belief the Federal Government has decided no Child Care Centres in WA are deemed to be disadvantaged when research tells us there are many who could use this funding.”
“Is it because the Child Care Providers deemed to be disadvantaged are located in Labor Government States and Territories?”
Mrs. McSweeney said she was astonished at the Federal Government’s latest antics to cut funding to WA Child Care Providers with recent funding cuts to 28 WA Neighbourhood Model Occasional Child Care Centres.
The Western Australian Government has committed to meeting the full cost of funding the 28 affected Child Care Centres until September 30 and will continue to meet with the Federal Government on the issue.