terça-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2007
Gillard vows aid for 'real battlers'
ACTING Prime Minister Julia Gilllard has vowed the Rudd Labor Government will be dedicated to helping the "real battlers" in Australian society.
In an exclusive interview with The Courier-Mail, Ms Gillard said there were disadvantaged communities that needed extra assistance.
She said despite 17 years of continuous economic growth, some distinct areas had poor job prospects and higher rates of crime, poverty and child neglect.
"There are communities that are getting left behind from the advantages of economic growth and need more help," she said.
She said it was an issue of concern to all.
"They would not want the sense that there are Australians getting left behind, particularly Australian kids getting left behind," she said.
A recent major study, called Dropping off the Edge, found some of the most disadvantaged areas in Queensland included Caboolture, Hervey Bay and Gympie, as well as Inala in southern Brisbane.
Ms Gillard said Labor was committed to setting up a Social Inclusion Unit in the Department of Prime Minister and Community to help the struggling communities.
Under the policy, the Federal Government will work with state governments and not-for-profit groups to deliver targeted programs.
Ms Gillard's super portfolio includes Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as well as Social Inclusion, which focuses on the disadvantaged.
For a few days, she has the added responsibility of being Acting Prime Minister while Kevin Rudd is overseas.
Ms Gillard said yesterday the key education issues would be on the agenda at the Council of Australian Governments meeting next week in Melbourne.
She said the Labor Government was committed to giving parents more information about their child's progress in class.