The early childcare centre promised for Seymour will not be built anytime soon, with the Andrews Labor Government choosing not to include it in the first round of centres being established.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said the recent promise by Victoria’s Labor Government to establish a new early education centre in Seymour was a clear example of misleading and empty commitments that align with election season.
Through Questions on Notice to the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, Ms Cleeland said it was revealed the government did not intend to follow through with this commitment until beyond 2028.
“Since the election, The Andrews Labor Government has been touting its plans to create 50 new government-owned and operated early education centres, including one in Seymour,” Ms Cleeland said.
“The fine print reveals a deceptive timeline that raises concerns about trust in this government.
“The misleading deadline of 2028 for the Seymour childcare centre’s delivery shows a lack of genuine concern for the immediate needs of the community.
“Despite our region being regarded as a Childcare Desert under this government, three out of the four centres set to open by 2025 are located in Labor seats.
“This is disgraceful pork barrelling that disregards regional families who need reliable and affordable childcare now.”
A 2022 report from the Mitchell Institute indicated that the Euroa electorate had a number of Childcare Deserts, meaning areas that have less than 0.333 childcare places per child aged four and under.
The report showed that the Seymour region, Benalla, and Kilmore-Broadford were some of the areas struggling the most, while smaller towns such as Murchison, Rushworth, Tooborac and Redesdale had no childcare at all.
In addition to her Question on Notice about the Seymour childcare centre, Ms Cleeland has also raised questions to the Minister and spoken in Parliament calling for more options in towns such as Avenel and Nagambie.
So far, there have been no commitments to fund a childcare centre in the electorate other than Seymour, which remains without a set timeline.