Warm welcome for ICPA in chilly Canberra

Posted on June 1, 2015

Overnight temperatures may have plummeted recently in Canberra, but the Isolated Children's Parents' Association (ICPA) members were buoyed by the warm welcome they received from parliamentarians there last week.  The ICPA federal executive flew to Canberra on their annual delegation on the back of the newly released 2015-16 budget which held many welcome measures for ICPA and the families they represent.

While in Canberra, councillors met with many senior politicians including the Minister for Education and Training, and the Leader of the House, the Hon Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Scott Morrison and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Paul Fletcher.  They also met with several advisors to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Minister for Education and Training as well as various backbenchers who are part of the Internal Reference Committee on Education.

Federal ICPA President, Judy Newton said her organisation welcomed many of the measures announced in the latest budget, particularly in the areas of early childhood care and learning and assistance for families supporting secondary and tertiary students.  "The removal of the Family Assets Test and Family Actual Means Test for Youth Allowance access from January 1, 2016 combined with recognition of all siblings aged 0 to 19 years in relation to dependent Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY and Assistance for Isolated Children Additional Boarding Allowance is a big win for children from rural and remote areas," Mrs Newton announced.

ICPA Australia also supported the $246 million Nanny Pilot Programme to Support Families in Work from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017 for qualifiers in the below $250,000 income threshold.  "We are very pleased to see, that while nannies must be attached to an approved service and hold Working With Children Checks and First Aid credentials, they do not need formal educational qualifications to be suitable for employment" Mrs Newton said.  "Until these measures are legislated, we will continue highlighting the benefits they will bring to regional Australia to all sides of government.  It is very rewarding to see ICPA's messages being acknowledged in Canberra " Mrs Newton said.