Thursday, 16th September, 2010
Federal Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, has been promoted as part of the Coalition's shake-up of cabinet on Tuesday.
Ms Ley has been moved from her position as Shadow Assistant Treasurer, to both Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Shadow Minister for Childcare and Early Childhood Learning.
Speaking about her appointments yesterday, Ms Ley said she was thrilled to have been given responsibility for two critical areas.
"There is nothing more important than getting every child the right start in life," Ms Ley said.
"We need policies that support families with their childcare choices and give children the best possible chances as they begin a lifetime of learning."
She said early intervention for children with special needs and children at risk was an area she was particularly interested in, and explained that access to good quality childcare and pre-school was vital.
"The earlier problems such as Autism Spectrum disorder can be picked up, the faster families can be linked with the services they need."
In the area of employment participation, Ms Ley quoted former UK PM Tony Blair's statement that fairness in life starts with a job, emphasising the need for effective policies that support disadvantaged job seekers back into the workforce.
"The Coalition Green army, to complement the Landcare efforts of farmers is an excellent example of an employment participation initiative that works both for the community and for the individual," she said.
She also said she would take stock of the state of regional and rural Australia as she approached her new role.
Ms Ley noted childcare in some rural areas was far from adequate, and there was scope to provide more opportunity for meaningful employment for people missing out.
"I look forward to holding the Government to account in these important policy areas and welcome the new opportunities for debate that the new Parliament will bring."
Parliament resumes for its first sitting on September 28.