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Campaspe Shire childcare costs to rise

Rochester and district families will pay an additional $7 a day in childcare costs, according to the draft Campaspe Shire Budget 2014-15.

ELAINE COONEY May 21, 2014 3:54am

Rochester and district families will pay an additional $7 a day in childcare costs if the Campaspe Shire Budget is passed.

The shire is raising the daily rate at the Rochester and District Childcare Centre from $70 a day to $77.

Rochester’s Khaleda Edib said the price hike was not welcomed.

When she works and her husband Tariq studies, their daughter Fatima (Chuti) uses the facility.

‘‘The government is cutting down the Family Tax Benefit B and the electricity and water charges are going up,’’ she said, ‘‘but my income is not going up.’’

Full-time working mother Rebecca O’ Sullivan sends her son to the facility three days a week.

‘‘It’s making it very expensive,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s an extra $21 per week.’’

Rochester mother Amanda Logie whose son Chayse uses the facility twice a week said the changes did not bother her.

‘‘At the end of the day it’s a service we have in town and we’d be lost without it,’’ she said.

Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson said the price hike was due to a wage increase for staff, which had been approved by the State Government.

He said he considered the $77-a-day figure to be an unreasonable childcare fee.

‘‘If you are a working parent and need to use the facility, you are using a large portion of your wages on childcare,’’ he said.

He said he held a meeting with generation x members of the community to discuss the way forward with council’s involvement in childcare.

‘‘(Parents) either pay to maintain the service or council gets out of the service,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s only two ways to fund childcare, either through people’s rates or the user pays.’’

He said feedback from the community indicated a high percentage of people wanted the users to pay.

Cr Wilson suggested parents whose children used the facility should attend Campaspe Shire’s information evening in Rochester May 29 to have their say. (See above for more details.)

He said he approved of the overall Budget and supported it fully.

Cr Wilson said the Rochester district did not receive much in this year’s Budget, but did not believe the district missed out.

He said the main spends in the Rochester district were the finishing of a section of road on Bonn Road, Rochester, a proposed river-to-town integration feasibility study and a CCTV study.

He said the $36,500 Rochester River to Town Feasibility Study would be the first step in encouraging locals and tourists to make better use of the Campaspe River.

He said once the study was complete, plans could be developed to increase boating, fishing and other recreational uses of the river.

A study into CCTV in Rochester, Echuca and Kyabram was also outlined in the draft Budget.

Cr Wilson began looking into the concept following a spate of burglaries in Rochester two years ago.

The idea was floated in the community, but never got off the ground.

Cr Wilson said surveillance of the town would help Victoria Police catch criminals and would reduce the number of burglaries.

He said the study would investigate the legalities of using surveillance equipment and draw up a plan on how liaison with different groups would work.

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