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Universal paid parental leave a must for family-friendly Budget

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has urged the Federal Government to heed community sentiment and provide for paid parental leave in next Tuesday’s Budget.

Senator Hanson-Young spoke to media and new mothers at a morning tea in Adelaide this morning. It was also reported today that BHP Billiton is introducing 18 weeks’ paid parental leave for its employees from July.

“The evidence pointing to Australia’s need for a government-funded paid parental leave scheme, coming from diverse sectors of the community, is overwhelming,” she said.

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Greens welcome Govt action on violence against women

The Greens have welcomed the Federal Government’s moves to stop violence and sexual assault against women and children.

The Government released the Time for Action report from the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children today, and says it will progress 18 of 20 priority recommendations.

“The Greens welcome the Federal Government’s action on this important issue, and the sense of urgency that it has demonstrated,” said Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Australian Greens spokesperson on the status of women.

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Greens announce paid parental leave Bill

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today announced her intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to provide for a 26-week government-funded paid parental leave scheme when Parliament resumes in a fortnight.

The Greens have long been campaigning for a universal government-funded paid parental leave scheme to be introduced in Australia, as it remains one of two OECD countries without one.

“The Greens are taking action on this important issue by proposing a scheme that we hope will be passed into law,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Greens welcome new parental leave report

The Greens have welcomed a new report recommending the introduction of paid parental leave in Australia, saying it is yet more evidence that the Federal Government should provide for such a scheme in the upcoming Federal Budget.

Long overdue: The macroeconomic benefits of paid parental leave was released by the Australia Institute today, which says a paid parental leave scheme in Australia would pay for itself, stimulate the economy and create 9,000 new jobs.

“The Greens warmly welcome the Australia Institute’s report,” said Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

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ABC Learning development a missed opportunity

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Federal Government has missed an opportunity to restructure Australia’s flawed childcare sector.

Education Minister Julia Gillard today announced that of 241 childcare centres deemed unviable under the ABC Learning business model in December 2008, 210 had been found new operators. The fate of the remaining 720 ABC Learning centres currently being operated by receiver McGrathNicol remains unknown.

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New poll mounts pressure for paid parental leave in Budget

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has welcomed the results of a new poll on attitudes towards paid parental leave as yet more evidence of the mounting community support for such a scheme to be included in the next Federal Budget.

The Auspoll research released today - commissioned by the National Foundation for Australian Women, Unions NSW, Commission for Children and Young People, Catalyst Australia and the YWCA Australia - surveyed 1703 respondents aged between 18 and 64 years on their views on paid parental leave and tax.

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Paid parental leave a Budget must this May

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Rudd Government to clarify its commitment to a promised government-funded paid parental leave scheme in Australia, as economic stimulus payments continue to roll out.

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner yesterday hinted that a paid parental leave scheme would be difficult to deliver as part of next month’s Federal Budget.

“The message the Greens are hearing from the community is: working parents want a paid parental leave scheme as a matter of urgency,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Universal paid parental leave key to closing gender pay gap

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has pointed to new research on the pay gap between men and women as another compelling reason to introduce universal paid parental leave in Australia.

The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling will publish a report today that finds young women are likely to earn around $1 million less than their male counterparts over a lifetime, with this gap exacerbated by having children.

“It’s disgraceful that we are still talking about an unfair gender pay gap in Australia in 2009,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Australia’s flawed childcare sector needs urgent re-structure

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Australian childcare sector needs an urgent re-structure, with turmoil in the sector not inspiring confidence in parents or workers.

“The current childcare system in Australia is flawed,” she said.

“We need to re-think how we value and deliver childcare in this country.

“It’s an essential service that needs to be better supported by Government.”

Senator Hanson-Young responded to comments made by Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childcare Education and Child Care Maxine McKew in Adelaide yesterday.

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