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Future Of Paid Parental Leave On A "Knife's Edge" This Election

"The outcome on this issue could be life-changing."

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Despite not getting enough crossbench support at the time, the Coalition has indicated it still plans to go ahead and butcher parental leave under the next parliament if re-elected.

However, that might be influenced by the outcomes of key senate races across Australia on Saturday, new analysis by independent campaigning organisation Fair Agenda has revealed.

Numbers crunched by The Australian last week showed "a sharp increase" in voters who "desert the major parties" in the senate with the number of people who voted “1” for the Coalition in the lower house but not in the ­Senate rising tenfold since 2004.

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“It’s really clear that voters recognise how important it is to support working people so they can afford to spend precious time at home with a new baby," Fair Agenda chief executive Renee Carr told BuzzFeed News.

“The current system was introduced to help more parents afford to look after their baby in the critical first 26 weeks and beyond ... The outcome on this issue could be life-changing for them.”

There isn’t much difference between Abbott’s unpopular cuts and what is being proposed by Turnbull except in how they are being calculated.

A re-elected Turnbull government would also add $3 billion to childcare and overhaul the sector by streamlining subsidies into a single payment in July 2018.

If elected, Labor would keep the current childcare system and commit $3 billion extra from January 2017.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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