SUBJECTS: Tasmanian Labor building Child and Family Centre in Latrobe.

JUSTINE KEAY, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BRADDON: Good afternoon, I'm Justine Keay. I'm the Federal Labor member for Braddon, and I'm here in Latrobe with our Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek, and Shadow Minister for Education as well as our wonderful candidates and local resident Samantha to talk about the importance of early years education. I'll now hand over to Tanya to say a few words.

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks Justine, it's really terrific to be back in Latrobe, This is a town I love to visit and to be here today to make such an exciting announcement is really great. Today we're announcing an investment from Tasmanian Labor of $3.5 million in a new early childhood and family centre here in Latrobe to support the kids and families who live in Latrobe and in surrounding areas. These centres are fantastic. When Labor was last in Government, Labor built 12 of these centres across Tasmania and when Labor was last in Government federally we were happy to help in supporting and building child and family centres with the Tasmanian Government. Sadly there haven't been any new centres built since then, only the ones that Labor started, and that's true at a State and federal level. We've got State Liberals, federal Liberals, not interested in supporting these children and family centres. Now they are so terrific because they bring all of the supports that a family needs under the one roof. So support with health issues like immunisation, oral health, dental care, nutrition advice, education, early childhood education so kids get ready to start school and are excited about starting school. But they do it all in a great family-friendly environment, supporting parents as well as supporting kids. Sam, we've wanted to invite you along today because you're the mum of two little girls and we wanted to ask you about your family, your two little girls, and how having something like this can help by having that locally.

SAMANTHA WILLIAMS, PARENT: It will be really nice because all the other places, you get pushed around to so many places or people that don't understand, so if you stick with the one people at one place you don't have to explain your story so many different times.

PLIBERSEK: That's right they get to know you and your kids, right?


PLIBERSEK: And that makes a big difference, doesn't it?

SAMANTHA: Yes it does.

PLIBERSEK: And your younger one's got a little lip and tongue tie, is that right?

SAMANTHA: Yeah and it took them a couple of months to find out and even then they told me I'd have to head up to Hobart and spend about $1,200 alone at the place just to get it done.


SAMANTHA: Which doesn't cover accommodation and fuel to get up there and all that sort of stuff too, so it's a bit hard to just pull that out of your pocket and race on up there.

PLIBERSEK: Well thanks so much for coming out today.


PLIBERSEK: Hearing how something like this will help families first hand, that's what it's all about.

SAMANTHA: Yes. Thank you.

PLIBERSEK: How about you guys? Do you want to add a few words? Gerry, come on. Come forward.

GERARD GAFFNEY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LYONS: Thanks Tanya. The new Latrobe centre will provide a much needed service to families and children especially in the Kentish municipality. Children in smaller country areas and towns tend to be ignored and not offered a range of services that are available in larger regional areas. A centre in Latrobe will meet local needs and that is not currently provided. Why should a child in a rural area like Railton possibly not receive the same support at the same level as a regional area maybe like Hobart? Investment in early childhood services are shown to be cost effective, yielding long term benefits to children, families and our societies. The earlier we help families, the greater the return. I'd like to hand over to Wayne Roberts.

WAYNE ROBERTS, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRADDON: G'day my name's Wayne Roberts. The Latrobe council area continues to experience significant population growth in and above what is happening along the coast in the West Coast and North West Coast. The location for the child family centre in Latrobe will assist in meeting the great demand for services for young local children and their families. The Latrobe Child Health Centre in now located at the Mersey Community Hospital, meaning local families can't always access that due to there being two different hospital areas. A Latrobe Child and Family Centre will fill the void.

PLIBERSEK: Thanks very much. Anita are you going to say a few words? Fantastic.

ANITA DOW, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRADDON: I'm really proud to be part of a Labor team that's investing in children and families in our community. Labor will build six of these centres, if we are elected with a majority government over the next term of government in Tasmania and two which we have announced are here at Latrobe which is really important to rural and outlying communities and families here in this part of Braddon. But also in Smithton and Circular Head area as well which is another area of great need where we need to provide greater support to families and children and I know firsthand having both been involved in the Burnie Acton Hub where the child and family centre is there, the importance of that community infrastructure to the people who live locally there. It's a warm, inviting environment that families can come in and play and not be intimidated about receiving support services which is really important and we know the zero to five years is absolutely integral in a child's development and anything that we can do as a Labor Government to support that we will.

PLIBERSEK: Fantastic. Thanks very much, that's it from us.

JOURNALIST: Tanya if I can just start with an opening statement from you on this funding.

PLIBERSEK:  Well this is very exciting new funding announcement from Tasmanian Labor, six of these new child and family centres to be built in different parts of Tasmania to join the 12 existing centres, and we have seen the big difference that these centres have already made. I have visited a couple over the years and they're really incredibly warm welcoming places as Anita has said. Families from across the community come in and use the services there and as Sam pointed out, actually having all of those services under one roof means that your family gets the best possible support and care. A lot of places, for example, have visiting paediatricians, they have health care professionals, they have people running playgroups to make sure that kids are ready to start school, advise on oral health and nutrition. It's just a great support for a family to have that and it's also a great way of families supporting each other too. Sometimes you start your family and, particularly is not all your friends have got kids, you are looking for a way of connecting with other young families [inaudible].

JOURNALIST: If elected, when will we actually see it running and function here in Latrobe?

PLIBERSEK: As soon as possible. The commitment is that it will be in Latrobe, obviously, the new Labor State government would have to identify the best site for that, and they would do that in consultation with the local community. But we've got great models for how these centres are operating in other places, so there’s no barrier to getting this done quickly and serving the people of Latrobe and surrounding communities.

JOURNALIST: But there’s no actual time frame for it just yet?

PLIBERSEK:  Within the first term of government certainly.

JOURNALIST: Is that the same for the one in Smithton?

PLIBERSEK: Yes, absolutely, as soon as possible.

JOURNALIST: And what is the major impact it will have on Latrobe and Smithton?

PLIBERSEK: Well, I think the major impact will be on the health and well-being of kids. It means kids grow up healthier, their families are strengthened, they start school more school ready. These early investments as Anita said those years, zero to 5 are so critical for children. You can set up healthy habits for life, you can set up a great attitude to education for life. So that is brilliant for those individual kids, but it is also really important for us as a society, we want our kids to be healthy and well educated and prepared for the future.

JOURNALIST: What are you hoping, what is your one goal of opening these for people like Samantha here today, what are you hoping they take away?

PLIBERSEK: A little bit less pressure on families, because parents are coping with so much already. Being able to go to one place for help, advice and support for when you are raising your family is really important, it’s really important for kids but it's good for parents too. It's a high-pressure job raising a family and services like this just help take a little bit of that pressure off.

JOURNALIST: Samantha, what is this going to mean for you?

SAMANTHA: Well I'll be able to do everything under one roof, and I don't have to book appointments around other appointments and it will be a nice thing to bring my kids to someone they actually know not just some stranger every time.

JOURNALIST: So it's that familiarity and getting to know people the big thing and take away for you?

SAMANTHA: Yes, it is. My eldest, she's a bit funny when it comes to new people and then they are pushing us around to so many people she just doesn't even go to them so I feel like it will be the same for my youngest. So I am hoping it will change that aspect of their life.

JOURNALIST: Anyone have anything else to add on the record.

DOW: I think what we’ve said, what we’ve said is that it will be really important for our local area.