A wonderfully large and successful event it was at St Joseph's Aberdeen last Friday.  The official opening of the latest of a series of multi-million dollar facilities was indeed an event worthy of celebration and the school community didn't disappoint.

Co-funded by the former federal Labor Government and the Catholic Education Office, the new facilities are fantastic and add to complement other recent additions including the Trades Training Centre.

We learned lots last Friday about the School's rich history and legacy and I thank everyone involved in both the modernization of the School and the opening celebrations.

By the time this column appears Tony Abbott’s second Budget will have been handed down.  I’ll have more to say about it next week but let’s hope it’s an improvement on his first effort.

The Budget debate over the past year has been a false one.  First the Prime Minister said we have a “budget emergency” and “we had to act”.  He then went about cutting things which affected all those with the least ability to bear it while leaving the top end of town alone.

Over the last few weeks he’s been saying there is no need to cut deep and therefore, the Budget will be uneventful.  We shall see but one thing has been proven over the past twelve months.  That is, the former Labor Government did not have a spending problem, it had a falling revenue problem outside its control.  That problem has continued for Abbott; let’s see how he handles it this time.

No one will thank Tony Abbott on his back down on his decision to abolish Federal Government funding for Pre-Schools. I thank those who joined my campaign to have the money restored. It makes no sense that the Federal Government participates in the funding of early-years child care and schooling but not pre-school. We know how important pre-school is to the early development of our children. The former Labor Government changed that by providing funding for pre-schools for the first time.

At the time of writing this column the broader changes Tony Abbott will make in his Budget to child care assistance were not known but let’s hope that any changes are sensible and recognises legitimate needs of working parents and children. Also, the importance to our economy of having as many working age people as we can participate in the labor market.

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