Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called on all rural and regional Members of Parliament to stand up for farming families access to mobile childcare.
Ms McGowan said she would continue to fight for rural and regional families despite the Federal Government’s failure to adopt her amendments to childcare reforms in Parliament last week.
She said she was disappointed the government failed to support her amendments, which sought to put some structure and process around mobile childcare funding.
The government voted against the amendments, 70-72.
‘‘It’s time for a well-thought-out policy for regional and rural Australia that includes childcare,’’ Ms McGowan said.
‘‘Rural communities shouldn’t have to compete for grants to get basic services.
‘‘There needs to be long-term, sustainable planning.’’
Ms McGowan praised members of the cross bench and the Labor party for supporting the need for a flexible childcare policy for regional Australia.
‘‘I call on the government and particularly the Nationals to support a plan for rural childcare based on the principles of equality, accessibility and consultation with the service providers and users,’’ she said.
‘‘Providing equal access to high-quality childcare is perhaps the single biggest thing we can do for productivity in rural communities.’’
Ms McGowan said she would lobby Senators on the amendments.