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Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 - Second Reading Speech

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (6.21 pm) - I rise to add my contribution to the debate the government's Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 and Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010.

This is a historic day in this chamber: all three of the major players in this place are committed to some form of paid parental leave and are also committed to seeing that some scheme is up and running by the end of this year.

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Paid Parental Leave Policy Is Missing Actual Leave

The Government needs to come clean on what its Paid Parental Leave Scheme really means for working families, starting with its name.

It's a great irony that an initiative called Paid Parental Leave does not actually give anyone an actual right to time off work after birth.

In fact, if an employee has been working for less than 12 months, they have no guarantee they can return to their job if they take leave.

All the Government's scheme does is entitle employees to a payment (18 weeks at the minimum wage) even if their employer won't give them their job back.

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Tens Of Thousands Of Families To Be Hit By Childcare Rebate Freeze While Coalition Folds

Twenty-six thousand families will be affected by the Government's decision to freeze the indexation of the childcare rebate in its first year alone warn the Australian Greens, while the Coalition abandons its opposition.

"The Deputy Prime Minister is on the record saying this will only affect, 'a few thousand families,' but we have now found out this financial year alone, this figure is in the tens of thousands," said Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who asked questions of the Education Department about the scheme in Senate Estimates today.

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Greens Move For Six Months Plus Super In Paid Parental Leave Scheme

The Australian Greens will be moving to give working parents protection and certainty when the Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme comes before the Senate, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has confirmed today.

"There are a number of deficiencies in the Government's plan; from its failure to actually guarantee leave, to defying World Health Organisation standards and dudding working parents out of superannuation. Many parents are concerned that the Government is not delivering on what it promised," said the Greens' Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Senator Hanson-Young.

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Greens Move For Six Months Plus Super in Paid Parental Leave Scheme

The Australian Greens will be moving to give working parents protection and certainty when the Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme comes before the Senate, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has confirmed today.

"There are a number of deficiencies in the Government's plan; from its failure to actually guarantee leave, to defying World Health Organisation standards and dudding working parents out of superannuation. Many parents are concerned that the Government is not delivering on what it promised," said the Greens' Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Senator Hanson-Young.

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Families Need Six Months Paid Parental Leave

The Federal Government must seize the historic opportunity to deliver a proper six-month paid parental leave plan for Australian families, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens Spokesperson on the Status of Women, says the Government's decision not to take advantage of the consensus in favour of real reform on paid parental leave is disappointing.

"We hoped that the Government would see the light and move to improve its plan to provide Australian families with a quality parental leave scheme,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Kickstart Community Childcare With Capital Grants

The Australian Greens have pledged to campaign for a Capital Grants Fund for childcare to boost not-for-profit and community providers, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Early Childhood Education, says the Capital Grants Fund would cost $200 million over four years.

"$200 million is not a lot of money compared to the $16.4 billion the Federal Government committed to the Building the Education Revolution program,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Govt Must Prove It Cares About Childcare - Give Centres Capital Grants To Boost Infrastructure and Services

The Federal Government must re-commit to investing in Australian childcare and early childhood education services by providing funding for capital grants for existing centres, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Early Childhood Education, says the Government's failure to proceed with 222 new centres cannot be allowed to stall progress on childcare.

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Representation of Women in the Indian Parliament

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.39 pm)

- I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 741 standing in my name, relating to the representation of women in the Indian parliament.

Leave granted.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG - I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate

(a) recognises that only 10 per cent of seats in India's Lok Sabha (the lower house of India's Parliament) are held by women;

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