Andrew Hastie and Mellisa Teede's dispute over Canning’s $2.8M preschool funding

Canning MP Andrew Hastie said $2.8 million will be provided for more than 2200 local preschoolers in Canning. Meanwhile Canning Labor candidate Mellisa Teede said the Coalition have failed to commit $2.8 million in funding for the region. Photos: File Image.
Canning MP Andrew Hastie said $2.8 million will be provided for more than 2200 local preschoolers in Canning. Meanwhile Canning Labor candidate Mellisa Teede said the Coalition have failed to commit $2.8 million in funding for the region. Photos: File Image.

Federal MP Andrew Hastie has called out Labor candidate Mellisa Teede, saying she told “a complete lie” about childcare funding in Canning. 

Earlier this month Ms Teede posted on her campaign Facebook account that “Andrew Hastie and Malcolm Turnbull have cut $2.8 million from preschool funding across Canning”.

The post has since been edited to state the Coalition have “failed to commit” the $2.8 million in funding for the region. 

Mr Hastie was quick to post on his own website, calling out Ms Teede for the post.

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“There have been no cuts to childcare under the Coalition government,” he said. 

“In fact, under the Coalition’s policy, this year $2.8 million will be provided for over 2200 local preschoolers in Canning.

“The Labor Party should be ashamed of themselves.

“Former Labor Member Barry Urban lied about his credentials, now Labor’s candidate for Canning is lying about policy.

“Labor cannot be trusted on basic facts, let alone governing for Australia.”

Ms Teede said the 2018/19 federal budget saw no new funding for preschools, beyond the funding already provided for 2019.

She said Labor was calling on the government to commit to long-term funding for preschools to provide certainty. 

“There is no funding for this program after next year,” Ms Teede said. 

“Andrew Hastie needs to ask why his Government would rather give a $17 billion tax cut to the banks than fund the national preschool program. This funding helps deliver the national preschool program. 

“Without it, preschools will lose a large part of their budgets and will have to either increase their fees or close their doors. 

“Families will have to pay more for preschool, or keep their children at home, meaning their children miss out on the benefits of preschool. 2215 children in Canning rely on this funding to access preschool.”

On July 2, Mr Hastie and Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham announced an injection of $2.5 billion into a national preschool program.

The announcement saw the base subsidy of about 72 per cent to 85 per cent, for more than 370,000 families earning about $66,968 or less a year. 

Mr Hastie said many families would be “hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year” better off because of the Coalition’s reforms.

“Our reforms will mean more subsidies for local working families and for families earning the least,” he said.

“We are also scrapping the annual rebate cap for most families and introducing an hourly rate cap to keep downward pressure on fees.”