“Officials responsible for dreaming up superfluous food rules for Early Childhood Centres (ECEs) should be fired and their salaries used to fund education,” says ACT Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“This is an absurd overreach and the rules should be scrapped.

“ECEs are a PCBU – a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking – under the 2015 Health and Safety at Work Act.

“The Act places a positive duty on organisations to keep people safe from harm by proactively identifying and managing health and safety risks.

“That means ECEs already have a legal obligation not to choke the children in their care.

“If they want to issue guidelines to each other to minimise that risk they’re very welcome to, but they don’t need compulsory rules requiring costly enforcement.

“No matter how worthy the intention of the rules is, it will undoubtedly start to impact what ECEs say parents can send in their children’s lunchboxes.

“Parents don’t want food to choke their children either, but how they achieve that is their responsibility, not the Government’s.

“We are crossing the boundary of reasonable expectation and personal responsibility and tying people up in red tape.

“We need fewer but more sensible rules in this country, and this is an example of the complete opposite.”


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