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Greens support call for children's caucus

2 March 2008
EMBARGOED UNTIL 11.00am Sunday 2 March
Greens support call for cross party caucus for children

Green Party Children's Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford today called on
all political parties to endorse the plea from the Every Child Counts
coalition for the establishment of a cross party parliamentary caucus
for children.

"This would be a long overdue acknowledgement that the wellbeing of
children should come first in all parliamentary considerations," Ms
Bradford says.

"As families all over the country celebrate National Children's Day, I
think the most appropriate thing politicians could do would be to commit
to participating in such a cross party caucus to be established after
the 2008 general election.

"The Green Party, like most other parties, is part of the Cross Party
Working Group on Family Violence, which was set up in the wake of the
tragic deaths of the Kahui twins. Unfortunately this group does not have
the endorsement of all parties in the House, nor does it attempt to deal
with all issues of particular relevance to children.

"That the vast majority of MPs voted last year for my private member's
bill to end the legalised violence against children allowed by s59 of
the Crimes Act is an example of the extent to which the needs of young
people can be put before ideological or vote catching considerations.

"Similarly, my bill aimed at extending the time mothers can keep their
babies with them in prison has so far received unanimous support from
all parties in the House, a most unusual situation, and again indicative
of what can happen when MPs put the needs of babies and children first.

"I look forward to seeing children's issues given the priority they
deserve by all parties and I sincerely hope that the Every Child Counts
initiative will be supported across the political spectrum."


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