Following on from Labor’s Early Childhood Education Plan with its $450 million investment in universal access to pre-school and early learning programs for all 4 year olds in Australia, Labor released its “New Directions for Australian Children” policy paper this week.

“I enjoyed having an opportunity to meet the staff and residents at Riddell Gardens Hostel this week” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Residential aged care and home help services are extremely important, especially given the regions aging population” Ms Vamvakinou said.

Last week, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report found that Methamphetamine use was growing among young Australian’s aged in their 20’s, with new figures showing that more than one in five young Australian’s have tried methamphetamines.
According to figures compiled from the Government’s own Child Care Access Hotline and released last week by the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, four out of the nine Melbourne suburbs hardest hit by severe childcare shortages fall within the electorate of Calwell.

To mark the beginning of National Youth Week (14-22 April), Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP, this week distributed copies of Your Future - Information Kit for School Leavers to all secondary schools in her electorate.

“National Youth Week celebrates the many contributions made by young people in Australia” Ms Vamvakinou said.

"As a result of individual contracts that the Howard government's new IR laws allow for, employees at Morgans IGA Supermarket in Meadow Heights will be working on ANZAC Day without being paid public holiday penalty rates" Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Ford’s announcement that it will shut down its Victorian production lines tomorrow unless an agreement can be reached with workers at the failed car parts manufacturer Coghlan & Russell Engineering is of particular concern” Ms Vamvakinou said.

At the 2007 ALP National Conference held in Sydney over the weekend, Labor announced its new industrial relations policy Forward with Fairness.

"Labor’s Forward with Fairness policy puts fairness back into the Australian workplace, whilst at the same time providing business with the flexibility it needs to be competitive in today’s fast paced economy" Ms Vamvakinou said.