OVERHAUL: Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers, for Capricornia Russell Robertson and MP Amanda Rishworth.
OVERHAUL: Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers, for Capricornia Russell Robertson and MP Amanda Rishworth. JACK EVANS

Labor brings proposed childcare policy to Central Queensland

LABOR representatives met on the banks of the Fitzroy yesterday to drill home Sunday evening's announcement of a promised overhaul to the childcare industry.

MP Amanda Rishworth joined two local Labor candidates, Capricornia's Russell Robertson and Flynn's Zac Beers, to discussed the planned subsidies to the people of Central Queensland.

Sunday's announcement detailed a Labor plan to cut the cost of childcare for 887,000 Australian families as part of a $4 billion package.

The package will subsidise childcare for families based on combined income and Labor Leader Bill Shorten believed the program would save eligible families about $2100 per child a year.

Ms Rishworth, who would assume the early childhood and development portfolio if Labor won government on May 18, described the ins and outs of the new policy.

"Families on a combined income of less than $174,000 a year will have their subsidies tapered between 85 and 60 per cent of the daily rate,” Ms Rishworth said.

"This is not just fee relief for the long-day childcare, we will also see fee relief for after school, before school and vacation care.

"We know that local wages are stagnating and costs are going up and that is why we have reacted to free relief when it comes to childcare for families.”

Ms Rishworth also assured the package would invest greater power into the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission to ensure providers did not jack up fees in response to the subsidy.

Mr Robertson was confident the policy would provide adequate relief to the electorate he was contending despite the ageing population in the region.

"It's about making sure we cover all families,” Mr Robertson said.

He said a policy to increase "minimum manning numbers in nursing homes” had Rockhampton covered at all ages.

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