The Guardian 30 November, 2005
Spend money on childcare
not on anti-worker ads
The Tasmanian LHMU Childcare Union has called on the Federal Government to allocate just one-tenth of their industrial relations advertising campaign on the childcare funding crisis in Tasmania.
LHMU Childcare Union Tasmania Secretary, David O’Byrne, slammed the $55 million spent by the Federal Government on its industrial relations (IR) advertising campaign, saying a mere fraction of the expenditure would go a long way towards easing the childcare crisis in Tasmania.
Mr O’Byrne said the spending was an outrageous waste of tax payers’ money to sell a legislation that hadn’t yet been passed in Parliament when there were so many other areas of need in Australia.
"If Mr Howard spent 10 percent of what he has spent on his Government’s IR campaign on childcare in Tasmania, it would go a long way to address the childcare crisis in the State.
"As little as $5 million would provide much needed relief to the current crisis and it’s time the Federal Government recognised the importance of childcare and the important task childcare workers do", Mr O’Byrne said.
Mr O’Byrne said childcare was not just child minding — in fact it was highly specialised, complex developmental work that required specialised training.
"Accessible, quality childcare is an essential part of our social infrastructure, but instead we have a Federal Government more interested in wasting tax payer funds on an advertising campaign for legislation that is yet to be introduced into Parliament — frankly it is a rort.
"Instead of spending millions of tax payers’ dollars on an ideological policy that will drive wages down, how about investing it in the childcare sector and allow childcare professional to earn a decent wage?"