City of Bayswater to ask State Govt to rethink stance on childcare centre cuts

Stock image.
Stock image.

CITY of Bayswater will call on the State Community Services Minister to reverse his decision to cut property management and maintenance fees for childcare centres.

Bayswater Family Centre, Salisbury Child Care Centre and Noranda Child Care Centre are among 33 childcare and 24 neighbourhood centres to be impacted by the cuts.

The State Government stated it was “not core business of the Department (of Local Government and Communities) to manage property for third parties”.

At a meeting held this week, Bayswater Council moved to write to the Community Services Minister Tony Simpson to tell him they have “serious concerns” with the recent decision.

Councillor Dan Bull, who put forward the motion, said accommodation assistance was a “critically important” part of the financial stability of the centres.

“(It) directly results in fees being lower, thereby allowing access to these centres for a much broader section of the Bayswater community,” he said.

“Because of these cuts, community centres in the City of Bayswater are sadly looking down the barrel of either having to increase their fees, or close completely.”

Cr Sally Palmer said the cuts would “affect every single family in Perth”.

“While I don’t think it will achieve anything, I’m glad we’re writing a letter,” Cr Brent Fleeton said.

However, Cr Chris Cornish said the City was no longer involved with childcare.

He said it was not Council’s role to comment on every decision made by State and Federal governments.

“I’m concerned that we’re moving into areas the City of Bayswater shouldn’t,” he said.

Cr Bull said three councillors would comprise the Bayswater Child Care Association board until 2020, the association that ran Salisbury and Noranda centres.

Noranda and Salisbury have an 18-month to two-year waitlist and care for 47 children every day, catering for about 100 families per week.