MPs and delegates are at a conference in Parliament House today to hear from speakers on strengthening the family. Today’s conference is about creating resilient relationships and as a result resilient children.
Today speakers will cover: ‘Relationships Literacy’ for youth, strengthening marriages, family-based taxation and the economics of the family.
“Today we are calling on policy makers to renew a culture of strong and lasting marriages by educating young people about the benefits of marriage and getting government taxation and support structures right,” the Australian Family Association’s National President, Mrs Terri Kelleher said.
“Stronger families mean a stronger future for all of us. There is no way to replace the contribution of happy intact families giving back to the community and investing in our future. However, when relationships break down children suffer.
“Single income families are paying an unfair share per household of the tax take. So we are also calling on MPs to look at fairer family taxation options," said Mrs Kelleher.
“Today’s briefing will put the spotlight on families and remind our politicians that many are doing it tough raising the next generation and our future. We can do better as a nation.” Mrs Kelleher said.
Today’s briefings coincide with celebrations to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of the Marriage Amendment Act 2004.
For 28 years Australia has had a below replacement level fertility rate (currently at 1.88 children per woman’s lifespan). Under Howard, Costello encouraged families to not stop at two children but consider a third or more to help lift Australia’s woeful birth rate.
Unfortunately, various tax, birth and child-care payment policies combine to form a massive financial disincentive for families considering trying for a third child. The recent Government budget and Mr Abbott’s proposed discriminatory PPL scheme have significantly added to this problem.
As Queensland schools wallow for a second year below the national average on all 20 numeracy and literacy tests, parents are losing patience.
“Our zero out of 20 NAPLAN score is completely at odds with Education Minister Langbroek’s ‘great school results’ mantra,” AFA (Qld) spokesperson, Mrs Tempe Harvey pointed out.
“Queensland parents are saying, ‘How can we still be behind in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 maths and English but we have great results in Year 12? He can’t have it both ways!’
|AFA NSW President Julie-Ann McLoughlin talking to media.|