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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 700..


Mrs Dunne: That one of them is in error.

MR QUINLAN: Yes. But I hope you are not complaining that we have put more in than we have said.

Education-funding

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Quinlan, in his capacity as Treasurer. Mr Quinlan, on 6 February this year, Mr Corbell said, on 2CC radio:

This government will inject an additional $27 million into education over the next one to two years.

As Treasurer of the ACT, do you stand by this very clear policy statement made by your colleague?

MR QUINLAN: I think Mr Corbell has answered that question in this place, very recently. I think what Mr Corbell has been trying to get through to you lot is that what we want to do is get that money into the education system as soon as is humanly possible. If you want to play on every last word in every radio interview, go for it.

However, the spirit of this place, and the spirit of this party, is to get that $27 million inside the school gate and applied to the improvement of education in the ACT. This will redress the relative decline in ACT education that has occurred over the last six or seven years.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Mr Speaker, given that I am still no clearer on the question of one to two versus four years, why will no government minister stand by the promise, made by Mr Corbell on 6 February this year on radio 2CC, that this government will inject an additional $27 million into education over the next one to two years?

MR QUINLAN: I think that is the same question, rephrased. Mr Speaker, if you can identify any new element to that question, I am happy to answer it.

Investment strategy for public moneys

MS TUCKER: My question is also for Mr Quinlan, as Treasurer. I did give Mr Quinlan's office some notice of this question. Recently, the federal government has been criticised for its management of public moneys invested in risky financial derivatives. In fact, the whole idea of investing public funds in this way is being seriously challenged by, among others, Tony Harris, former Auditor-General of New South Wales.

As you are aware, last year a majority of this Assembly agreed to allow public money to be invested in financial derivatives. You might remember the enlightening explanation from the then Treasurer, referring to the Bible. I remember that well. It left me with no confidence, and I actually did not support the motion. There was a lack of understanding, although, to be fair, I know Mr Humphries had given more detail in the tabling speech.


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