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18 October 2007

Senator Ivana Bacik: I support Senator O'Malley in her comments about CURA. The concern is that CURA is not co-operating with the Crisis Pregnancy Agency policy and that it is not providing women in crisis pregnancy with all the information on all the options available to them. I would be concerned that an organisation should receive State funding if it is not co-operating with an agreed body such as the CPA.

I also echo the comments by Senators O'Malley and Corrigan regarding the family. The calls made yesterday for debates on parenting may have missed the point. I have already called and I again reiterate a call on the Leader to institute a debate about how the Legislature can support parents through the provision of paid paternity leave to enable fathers to take time off from the workplace. It is a scandal that fathers have no right to paid paternity leave at present. It is also a scandal that we have such a poor provision of pre-school child care. As a Legislature we should be concerned about the quality of provision for children and the best interests of the child. I was very concerned at views expressed yesterday that showed a certain prejudice towards a particular type of parent, which is not helpful in a debate. We should consider what is in the best interests of the child, which is the quality of the parenting, and not who the parents are or the nature of their relationship and whether it is based on a legal bond. We should call for a debate on what the Legislature can do to support parents, be they single, married, same sex or opposite sex parents.