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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 305..


Mr Hird: It still is.

MR BERRY: Mr Hird says that it still is available. I assume that he is saying that it still is available but it is not available at a reasonable cost. Those are the facts of the matter. It is no longer affordable, and the number attending evening colleges has fallen through the floor, as the Government knew it would. As I say, Mr Speaker, they have no concerns for the people who need access to that sort of education system. Do not get up in this place, Mr Hird, and express any concern about evening colleges in the community after the way that you have acted. It was absolutely outrageous. People in your electorate who were using those evening colleges now do not have the same access, because of your support for this Government's attacks on the education system.

Mr Speaker, it is timely to have this debate, because I suggest that on the industrial relations front we are in a crisis that is having an impact on all our services, including education. No matter which way you look at it, it keeps coming back to the point that if you put a conservative government in you get conservative policies. We make no excuses for our position. We think that we would do a better job on the government benches. There is no question about that. But we are not going to let people pretend that they have a different political position from that of this Government and then continue to support this Government. They have to be exposed at every turn. At every opportunity that I have to do so, I will do it and make sure that the message gets through to the community that there is only one group in here that opposed the formation of this Liberal Government, and that is Labor. It was Labor that opposed the budget. We were not involved in any publicity stunts in relation to the illegal amendment of the budget. What we were very clear about was that we opposed the budget.

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. You drew this to the attention of Mr Berry earlier and he withdrew. Now he has repeated the statement. It was not illegal. He has a legal opinion that suggests that, but it was not illegal. It was not found to be illegal.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. Do not use the word "illegal".

Mr Moore: And we are still prepared to do it. Put it up and test it in court. It is the only way.

MR BERRY: Well, off you go, Michael. We have been straight from the word go. We do not support the Liberal Government, we do not support their budget, we do not support the way they are managing our services out in the community, we do not support the way they are dealing with our education system and we do not support the way they are treating the community. Others in this place do.

An incident having occurred in the gallery -

MR SPEAKER: Order! You are welcome to listen to the debates in this chamber. However, if there is a repetition of that behaviour, I shall be obliged to use standing order 207 again, which allows me to suspend the sitting. Please listen to the debate in silence. You are most welcome to do so.


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