Every family deserves childcare choice yet for far too many country families the only choice is one parent staying home. Many rural communities are too small to support a fully staffed childcare centre yet government regulations, red tape, and union opposition make opening a centre-based family day care difficult or even impossible. In Ripon this problem is particularly acute around Donald and Charlton.
The draft regulations are out and the proposals will make it even harder for farmers and landholders generally. The VFF president has described the draft as 'Instead of real, positive change, the Government is continuing to lumber layers of complexity into the regulations, which is serving only to confuse and frustrate landholders who are trying to do the right thing."
Among many adverse changes a few are worth mentioning: removing an old tree will require specific protection of another old tree, the area available to be cleared under the "simplified" system is falling from 15Ha to 0.5Ha (a 96% reduction), and landholders who clear land will have to revegetate 1.5 times the are of ecological value.