Glebe Out of School Hours Child Care submission to the Federal Government's review of Military Policy
The Glebe Out of School Hours Child Care ( OOSH ) has as its aim to serve the needs of 'at risk' children in the inner city of Sydney. We are in the privileged position to see the results of various Government policies on the social fabric of this country's biggest city.
We, for example provide 30 meals a day in Glebe in the midst of one of the best-known café districts in the city. We see at first hand family disintegration, drug abuse and various symptoms of the disregard of the child's needs in this city.
We know that the Federal Government is running down education, which is the most necessary service for the young in this society not just in Glebe but also across the country. We also know that the Government is 15th in spending on education in OECD countries. This is out of 17! We know from other studies that we are one, if not the richest country in the world. We also know we are 9th in OECD country in levels of youth poverty, with 1 in 8 in danger of being homeless.
TheGlebe Out of School Child Care runs at a deficit of $20,000 per year and is under staffed by at least one full time worker
The prospect of doubling spending on military equipment to over $20 billion will mean that other agencies will have to have their budgets cut to find the money for this massive expenditure. Military equipment does not automatically bring security.
Security is a much wider concept that includes the social fabric of society. A country's security depends also on its care for all its citizens especially its children. Family support with backing from the Government will produce a greater sense of well being and security than a huge increase in spending on guns and sophisticated military hardware.
Instead we say decrease military spending and spend more on social needs such as education and youth services. A better armed Australia will mean a poorer Australia.