The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has called on Bendigo’s state and federal Labor MPs to end their misleading and baseless scare-campaign on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, describing it as blatant fear mongering.
Senator McKenzie said Labor’s recent claims that the Coalition was about to cut its share of funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education was cruel and misleading.
“This is deliberate and nasty plan concocted by Lisa Chesters, Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards with the sole aim of scaring local parents,” Senator McKenzie said.
“They are deliberately toying with parents’ emotions in an attempt to score cheap political points – a low act even by their standards.”
Senator McKenzie said Universal Access to Early Childhood Education aimed to ensure all Australian children had access to 600 hours of quality early childhood education programmes, delivered by degree-qualified early childhood teachers, in the year before full-time schooling.
“Kindergarten participation rates have increased significantly as a result of this wonderful initiative and I am confident the Government will continue its support,” Senator McKenzie said.
Senator McKenzie recently wrote to the Minister for Education Christopher Pyne, in her capacity as the Chair of the Coalition’s Education Backbench Committee, outlining her strong support for ongoing funding for Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.
“My ongoing discussions with both Minister Pyne and other senior Ministers have been constructive and extremely positive,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Instead of visiting local kinders with the sole aim of creating fear and anxiety, I would encourage Ms Chesters to pick-up the phone to myself or Minister Pyne to voice her support for this initiative in a positive and constructive way.
“As for Ms Allan, instead of spending more than half-a-billion dollars to not build a road, I would encourage her to outline her plan to build a better Bendigo.
“As a senior Minister in the Victorian Government, Ms Allan needs to realise that it is now time for her to stand up and deliver more than just smoke and mirrors for the people of Bendigo.”
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