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ALP ‘obstructing’ childcare reforms: govt

Education minister Simon Birmingham talks to the media in Melbourne on December 16, 2016. AAP Image/Alex Murray

Education minister Simon Birmingham talks to the media in Melbourne on December 16, 2016. AAP Image/Alex Murray

Christopher Talbot

Melbourne [AAP]

Bill Shorten needs to stop ‘obstructing and start supporting’ the government’s reforms to fix Australia’s broken childcare model, education minister Simon Birmingham says.

Speaking to reporters in Adelaide on Sunday, Mr Birmingham said it was crucial to get the government’s childcare reforms through parliament to keep costs down.

‘If Bill Shorten and the Labor Party are seriously and genuinely concerned about the plight of Australian families, then they would stop blocking the savings necessary to pass our childcare reforms,’ Mr Birmingham said.

The federal government has been trying to pass a new $3 billion childcare reform package, which will completely redesign the system.

Department of Education documents show that childcare costs will increase by more than five per cent each year for the next four years.

Acting leader of the opposition Penny Wong says that projections show childcare fees will rise by up to 22 per cent over the next four years, pushing the weekly cost of child care on par with the full wage of some working mothers.

‘Australian families already struggling with child care and getting access to child care will not be impressed by the plan to increase child care fees,’ Ms Wong told reporters in Adelaide on Sunday.

Labor argues the government needs to focus on building new childcare centres to provide more places and drive costs down.


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