Posted on 08. Nov, 2011 in News

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell has been caught out claiming credit for two children’s centres that were funded by the former Labor Government, Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on Children and Young Adults Jenny Mikakos said today.

Ms Lovell made the misleading claims in statements released while opening the Gowanbrae and Laurimar centres on 2 November.

Ms Mikakos, who visited the proposed site for the Lyndarum Children’s Centre with Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green, said Ms Lovell was in fact responsible for cutting the dedicated funding programs for new children’s centres.

“In just 12 months the Baillieu Government has done nothing to provide more children’s services despite the area’s growing population,” Ms Mikakos said.

“Ms Lovell is claiming credit for these two centres to cover the fact she has achieved very little in the children’s portfolio after nearly a year in office.

“Ms Lovell is responsible for the $1.9 million cuts to the popular Take-a-Break occasional childcare program and her government also axed three funding programs that help deliver new children’s centres into growth areas.

“Without these programs, children’s centres like Lyndarum won’t get state funding.

“Through these programs, Labor built six children’s centres in the Yan Yean electorate in six years. Labor also funded five local schools in five years. This is in stark contrast to the Baillieu Government, which has no plan to open any children’s centres or schools in Yan Yean – the fastest growing electorate in the state.

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said the attempt by Ms Lovell to take credit for the popular community project was misleading.

“It beggars belief that Ms Lovell would claim the Baillieu Government committed the $1.95 million for the Laurimar centre and $500,000 for the Gowanbrae centre,” Ms Green said.

“The centre has been open and operational since earlier this year, but Ms Lovell is trying to trick the public into believing she is solely responsible for it.”

Ms Lovell’s release from November 2 stated:

The Victorian Coalition Government contributed $1.95 million towards the centre, providing $1.2 million through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the remainder through the Department of Planning and Community Development.

“Given Ms Lovell has cut dedicated funding for new children’s centres across Victoria; I am concerned this might be the last local children’s centre to receive state funding.”

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