Education Community facilities | September 02, 2022

Labor must commit to Yarriambiack childcare facility

The Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Emma Kealy has spoken in Parliament this week, calling again on the Andrews Labor Government to commit the funding required to bring a desperately needed childcare facility in Murtoa to fruition.

Yarriambiack Shire Council has plans to build a new childcare centre at the rear of the current Murtoa Kindergarten location site on Marma Street, however Labor has advised it was unlikely to support a funding application for the facility because Murtoa was not in a “growth corridor”.

Ms Kealy said families in the Minyip, Murtoa and Rupanyup areas desperately needed to know where the government stood as they planned their work and childcare commitments for next year.

“Murtoa is in the unique situation of having childcare workers, pre-school-aged children and land ready to go, but is missing the required infrastructure to make the project a reality,” she said.

“I have met with ICU nurses, teachers, and a dental nurse in the area who are all keen to return to the local workforce, but many have been unable to do so simply because there is no childcare available in their local community.

“Some parents are currently leaving their homes in the Minyip, Murtoa and Rupanyup area to drive their children to Horsham to drop them off at childcare, and then driving 55km to Warracknabeal to work. At the end of the day they drive back to Horsham to pick up their kids and drive home, in some cases travelling more than 200km a day just to access the childcare they so desperately need.”

Ms Kealy said Yarriambiack Shire Council had done an enormous amount of work to bring the project to fruition, and had committed $400,000 towards the cost of the project.

“What they need now is government funding to get the project over the line so that local families can access the childcare they need,” she said.

“I categorically rejected Labor’s justification for denying funding support because Murtoa was not in a growth corridor. 

“The Andrews Labor Government must recognise that families in rural Victoria need access to childcare just as much as families living in what Labor defines as a “growth corridor”, and it is simply unfair and neglectful to say we deserve anything less.

“There are women in this area who are unable to go to work because they cannot secure childcare. They need our support to change this, and we need them in our local workforce.

“I am calling again on the Andrews Labor Government to commit the funding needed to make this desperately needed childcare facility a reality.”

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