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Greens challenge Govt to honour Children's Day

Greens challenge Govt to honour Children's Day

The Green Party is challenging the Government to honour children in a meaningful way this Children's Day, Sunday 26 October, by making real changes to improve the lot of our youngest citizens.

"I challenge our Government to take meaningful steps towards really celebrating our children, not just in words and colouring books, but also in dollars and law changes," Green Children's Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford said today.

"The first urgent step is the immediate repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, which condones parents using physical force against their children, not just smacking but also whacking children with bits of wood and other implements. We can't continue to condone the physical abuse some of the most vulnerable members of our community."

Ms Bradford challenged the Government to support her private member's bill creating a Universal Child Benefit, at $15 a week for the first child, and $10 a week for second and subsequent children.

"Even at this pitifully low level, it would only cost about $600 million a year, and would give primary caregivers a little more to spend on food, clothing and other essentials for children. The Government can afford it. It is simply a matter of priorities, a matter of political will."

Ms Bradford also urged the Government to address other key problems affecting our children, including poverty, overcrowded housing and our inadequate benefit system.

"Every child deserves a bright future," Ms Bradford said.

Sue Kedgley, Green Women's Affairs and Health Spokesperson, called on the Government to reduce the commercial pressures on children and the commercialisation of childhood.

"Advertising during children's television programmes should be banned. Schools should become advertising-free zones, promote healthy eating policies and remove all vending machines selling junk food and fizzy drinks," Ms Kedgley said.


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