Peter Khalil: Toy libraries are a great resource for parents of young kids. They’re cost effective, compared to buying toys, and they let parents target age-specific development needs. That’s why I’m so pleased that Labor has recently announcement that, if elected, a Shorten Labor government will invest $6.1 million in our youngest citizens by providing greater support for community based playgroups and toy libraries. The program will see grants available of up to $15,000 to individual organisations and an investment of $50,000 provided to Playgroup Australia and Toy Libraries Australia to expand and improve their resources.
There are some great play groups and toy libraries in my electorate of Wills. One is Moreland Toy Library, which I was recently able to present with a $6,000 grant from the Stronger Communities Program to purchase toys for their new centre in Pascoe Vale, which is in my local area. The Moreland Toy Library was established in the 1980s by a small group of families and has been growing ever since. It was previously run out of Brunswick West but now has opened up a second centre in Pascoe Vale, reaching many more constituents. Since they have opened up that second centre, 60 local families have joined up and are now part of this toy library. I’m a strong supporter of their work, and that’s actually why my kids and I recently made a personal donation that they had outgrown to the Moreland Toy Library. I think it was a really important lesson for the kids about sharing, giving to others and making sure they engage with their local community. I commend all of the volunteers working at the Moreland Toy Library. Well done.