MORRISON: Good afternoon, everyone. I’m thrilled with my appointment as the Minister responsible with implementing this Government’s much-needed reforms to the social and community sector. I’m particularly excited to get to grips with child care, something I’ve had some limited, mostly island-based, experience in. Well, limiting for the children anyway.
I want to assure the Australian people that I will be bringing the same clear, decisive leadership I brought to the Immigration portfolio right over to child care. I think I’ve demonstrated that I care a great deal about the education of every child, whether they’re in a tent or a cell block.
But I want to be really clear here. The chaotic days of our early education centres being swamped by illegal arrivals –
ADVISOR: Children, Minister.
MORRISON: Sorry, children – still getting my head around the new terminology, folks! – the days of children swamping our child care system are now over. I have statistics that under the previous Government, over 1 million children were swamping the borders of our child care centres.
JOURNALIST: Minister what do you say to those who say seeking early education is a human right and is entirely legal?
MORRISON: Well look I’m not going to run commentary on the usual bleeding-heart nonsense that goes along with these debates. I’ve got a job to do and I’m getting on with it. But the current rate of arrivals in child care clearly cannot continue. I think the voters would agree that we have been given a strong mandate to implement our policies. Particularly the ones that harm children, they voted for those ones specifically.
JOURNALIST: Minister are you worried about how these policies are perceived by the international community? Australian early education takes in a small amount of children compared to other developed countries.
MORRISON: Let me be really clear here, Australia is a generous and respected member of the international community. But I will not stand by and let that generosity be taken advantage of by these illegal, queue-jumping children! Australia has a proper process and system to access early education that must be followed.
JOURNALIST: What is that process again?
MORRISON: Be rich and hire a nanny. Not that hard, people!
Now, in terms of other significant policy changes we will be introducing. Assessment & Rating of services will now be streamlined from the current 7 Quality Areas and 58 Standards to three questions. A determination is then made by myself, with no capacity for review. Should speed things up quite a bit, we reckon.
I’m confident that we will succeed very shortly in stemming the tide of young children receiving an education. No further questions, ever.
[Minister drops mic and leaves.]