Posted on 18. Aug, 2011 in News

Community centres which have had their Take-a-Break funding cut by the Baillieu Government have been left reeling following news that without the program their insurance bills will skyrocket, Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on Children and Young Adults Jenny Mikakos said today.

Addressing a rally at Parliament today, Ms Mikakos said the Baillieu Government clearly didn’t understand the ramifications of axeing the popular program and called on the Premier to attend a meeting with parents and staff.

“Mr Baillieu and his Children’s Minister, Wendy Lovell, are again nowhere to be seen when parents and workers front up to demand answers,” Ms Mikakos said.

“We have learnt many of the 220 centres that offered the Take-a-Break program could lose their VMIA indemnity insurance because of the Baillieu Government funding cuts.

“This will mean these centres, which are almost all non-profit community organisations, will have to find thousands of dollars to make sure the centre and the families who use the facilities are covered by insurance.

“After being asked in Parliament about the affect his funding cut would have on indemnity insurance, Mr Baillieu was all excuses but simply couldn’t answer the question.”

The Opposition has written to the Premier asking him to meet with a delegation of affected parents and staff so he can hear first hand what the impact will be.

“Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews wrote to Mr Baillieu asking him to meet with parents in the hope he could understand what the impact of this funding cut will be,” Ms Mikakos said.

“What Mr Baillieu doesn’t understand is this decision isn’t just going to push costs for occasional childcare up, it will also force the community to pay more for a range of the services these centres offer.

“As centres increase the price, fewer families will be able to afford their service, which casts serious doubts over the future hundreds of centres.

“Mr Baillieu must realise what the rest of the state has been saying for months – axeing Take-a-Break will have a huge impact on families and communities across the state.

“It’s time Mr Baillieu reversed this shocking decision, and stood up for families and community centres across the State.”

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