Tuesday 23 June 2009
Legislative Council
Estimates Committee B  (David Bartlett)

Capital Investment Program

Mr FINCH - I have a question about this $1.8 million for the Beaconsfield early learning and care centre.  I was thinking that is not a State Government contribution, it is Commonwealth Government, but it clarified on the next page anyway.  They are exciting developments.

Mr BARTLETT - They are fantastic - Child and Family Centres, the LINCs, the Building the Education Revolution.  Jenny may wish to add to that.

Ms GALE - In addition to the Commonwealth funding we are also contributing State funding for the Child and Family Centre as part of that complex, so we are capitalising on both the Commonwealth funding and the State funding and through the Building the Education Revolution funding to have a really fantastic Early Years Centre at Beaconsfield, which will be a child-care centre, a Child and Family Centre and an early learning centre through the BER funding.  It will be a brilliant complex.

Mr FINCH - Do you have that detail yet as to the State contribution?  It is my assumption that this $1.8 million would be Federal dollars, and then on top of that there is the State Government contribution.  Has that been detailed because it might be a nice figure for the State Government to present to the community as to the extent of the State Government's contribution?

CHAIR - I feel sure there has been a media release about it.

Mr ANDREW - It is part of the $76 million for the Child and Family Centres, with $27 million for 2009-10.  So it is one of those first eight centres.

Mr BARTLETT - It will be a couple of million dollars.

Ms GALE - We are just developing the plan so it is very difficult to put an actual specific cost estimate to the Child and Family Centre but it will be part of that funding.

Mr FINCH - As I say, there has been a major contribution to the site and also the support that has come from the State Government.

CHAIR - Is there any work being done on the next 22 centres before next March?

Mr BARTLETT - The work we are doing on these eight will of course inform our work on the next 22.  We did a list of priority centres and picked the first eight.

Ms GALE - We had a list of 14 initially, which was based solely on a needs analysis, from which we picked the first eight.  With the Commonwealth funding I think we have now taken that up to 10 centres.  We still want to do a bit more analysis on the remaining four but it is likely they will be in the next tranche.  The early years interdepartmental committee, which met again I think last week, has now started the process of identifying the next round, which we hope to have to the minister for approval fairly quickly.

CHAIR - Is Bicheno in the next four, Premier?

Mr BARTLETT - I do not know, but I understood that Bicheno was supposed to be in this Federal Budget as a funded child centre.  I have not seen whether it is or not.  I put Bicheno and Campbell Town as the top two next to Maxine McKew when she was scanning around for Commonwealth-funded projects.

Ms GALE - The Commonwealth funding has stopped after the first tranche and we have no understanding yet of when that might be resumed, so we are not able to say.  We are still looking at the data -