Childcare centre ‘review’ support

COUNCILS around the state have backed Cumberland’s call for a review into the planning policies around childcare centres.

Also want refugee scheme back

The motion was one of three proposed by Cumberland, and among more than 100 considered, at the two-day annual Local Government NSW conference held last week in Sydney.
Mayor Steve Christou said the Child Care State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), which was introduced in 2017 by the NSW Government, was designed to streamline development approvals for this type of development.
“In practice, however, crucial factors – like a child’s age, child-to-staff ratios and operational or management plans for a centre – are not considered in the planning process,” he said.
“A childcare centre must be in a location that is safe for kids and as a council, we have raised concerns about centres being located on or near major roads.‚Ä®”Childcare services should also be located in areas of need and not in areas of oversupply.”
The second motion presented by Cumberland to conference delegates, urged local government to lobby for the reinstatement of the Federal Status Resolution Support Scheme for refugees and asylum seekers.
“Putting humanitarian obligations to one side, this is an exercise in cost shifting,” he said.
“By restricting access to this program, the Federal Government has moved the burden of responsibility and significant costs on to local councils, charities, faith groups and other community organisations.”
Cumberland’s third motion to the conference was a call for action to deal with the homelessness crisis in NSW, including those living in severely crowded dwellings, an issue which Cr Christou said was a significant problem in Cumberland.
“We know that many community providers who are assisting the homeless, are overrun because their services are in such high demand,” he said.