Adjournment debate – Labor’s National Preschool and Kindy Program

As a former early childhood educator I understand and appreciate the value of early learning to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development. It also helps parents to balance work and family commitments and contributes to Australia’s competitiveness in the global economy.

Last night in the Senate I spoke about Federal Labor’s commitment to deliver 15 hours per week of preschool or kindergarten to 700,000 three- and four-year old Australian children if we win government. Our $1.75 billion National Preschool and Kindy Program will be a record investment in early childhood education in Australia.

This is in contrast to the Morrison Government, who in the 2018 budget cut funding to the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, and only reinstated it in last night’s budget for one year.

A Fair Go For Schools

This morning I stood on the lawns of Parliament amongst a sea of names of public schools that have had their funding cut by this uncaring Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.

Labor will fully restore the $14 billion the Liberals have cut from public schools. To find out how much your school will receive visit http://www.fairgoforschools.com.au.

Thanks to the AEU for organising this display. Continue reading

New CEO of Palliative Care Australia

It was my pleasure to meet Palliative Care Australia‘s new CEO Rohan Greenland and to discuss their Palliative Care 2030 vision.

Facing a future where Australians will live longer, there is an increasing need for access to high quality palliative care for those living with a life-limiting illness.

As co-convenor of Parliamentary Friends of End of Life I strongly endorse PCA’s message about the need for governments to invest in, and plan for, the future palliative care needs of our ageing population.

Kingborough Community Hub Opening

Hundreds of locals turned up for the official opening of the Kingborough Community Hub, an exciting milestone in the Kingston Park development.

Kingston Park, a $6.4 million master planning exercise, was started by Kingborough Council on the former site of Kingston High School, with the support of State and Federal Labor governments, and has had bipartisan support. It is creating a new commercial Centre for Kingston with the potential to attract hundreds of new jobs to the area.

A big thanks to everyone involved in the opening including Aunty Brenda, who delivered a wonderful welcome to country.

Rosny College Awards Night

I would like to congratulate all the Rosny College students who received awards at last night’s 2019 Achievers Ceremony. It was my privilege to sponsor The Playgroup Award and present it to Jessica Allen.

Thank you to Principal Anthony Coe for inviting me and giving me a chance to see the extraordinary depth and breadth of talent among Rosny College students. I wish all the students will with their future career and study plans.

Lifeline Tasmania Meeting

It was lovely to chat to Elizabeth Cooper from Lifeline Tasmania about their ongoing work helping people at risk in the community.

Lifeline is currently looking for new volunteers to provide companionship to recipients of home care packages and people living in residential aged care.

If you think this would interest you please contact Elizabeth on 6282 1515 or email lib.cooper@lifelinetasmania.org.au. If you think someone else would be interested, tag them in the comments below.

Penny Wong visits Clark

Labor Party faithful gathered tonight to hear from Penny Wong – Senator for SA and Ben McGregor – Labor for Clark.

Their speeches were inspiring – Ben talked about how the death by suicide of his two cousins had motivated him to study social work, to enter politics, to help people and to make a difference in his community.

Penny talked about how it had been Labor governments that had led the major reforms that have defined Australia – such as Medicare, collective bargaining and superannuation, and the sheer disappointment of Scott Morrison’s failure to send a strong message that he rejects the extremism of One Nation.

It was a night where people were inspired to work towards the election of a Shorten Labor Government, and to put a Labor Member back in Clark.

 

Multicultural Women’s Council of Tasmania

Congratulations to the Multicultural Women’s Council of Tasmania for a great International Women’s Day event, featuring lots of entertainment and a delicious afternoon tea.

It was also lovely to catch up with Fran Bladel.

While International Women’s Day has been recognised for over 100 years, we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality – even in Australia where women have lower pay, retire with lower superannuation balances, and are far more likely to be victims of domestic violence.

The challenges women face in achieving gender equality are so much greater for women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, which is why the work of the MWCT is so important.

Stop Centrelink Privatisation

I was proud to join my Labor colleagues Julie Collins MP and Alison Standen MP, the CPSU Tasmania – PSU and the Huon Valley community rallying to oppose cuts to Centrelink services in Huonville.

The CPSU called today’s rally in response to plans to merge the Huonville Centrelink office with Service Tasmania – a move that will lead to a further reduction in services.

It is outrageous that the Morrison Government would seek to impose cuts to services on a community that is continuing to suffer the economic, emotional and psychological impacts of the recent fires, especially when many local residents will need help accessing disaster relief payments.