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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2259..


MR STANHOPE: Well, I am not sure I would agree with your assertion that the service that we are proposing, and that is being developed, is one that can be said to be delivered from an acute care setting. It is my expectation, in relation to the philosophy of care that you associate with home birth, that we are not talking about the development of an acute service, but I think the philosophy and the understanding within the Canberra Hospital maternity unit in relation to home births is well understood.

I obviously detect the level of concern and the view that you have, and obviously the views that have been expressed to you by constituents, in relation to the way it appears to you or your perception as to how this program is developing, being developed and potentially being implemented, and I will pursue the issues that you raised with some vigour, Ms Tucker.

Education reviews

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, in light of comments by the opposition spokesperson on education, reported in the Canberra Times today, that reviews are a "bloody nuisance", can you outline the reasons why the government has initiated these important investigations into education in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I was very interested to read Mr Pratt's comments in the Canberra Times today that reviews are "a bloody nuisance". I would like to outline for the information of members the work the government has undertaken.

The government commits a range of funds to ensure that we understand fully the scope of issues in the ACT Education sector and respond appropriately to them. The first and most significant investigation the government is undertaking is in relation to future education funding arrangements for government and non-government schools in the ACT. It is interesting that Mr Pratt thinks that this review is a "bloody nuisance". It is interesting because this review is urgently needed. It is needed because the federal Liberal Party's socio-economic status funding formula, if implemented in the ACT, would mean that every non-government school in the ACT, bar one, will receive less funding from the federal Liberal government.

So why is it that Mr Pratt, the Liberal Party spokesperson on education here in the ACT, thinks that this is a "bloody nuisance"? Is it because he somehow thinks that this review might actually question the assumptions that his federal colleagues have sought to impose on non-government schools in the ACT? And is it odd that the shadow minister for education actually is defending a federal Liberal Party funding model for non-government schools that delivers less funding for non-government schools in the ACT, bar one?

Why is it that the shadow minister for education is out there criticising this inquiry as a waste of time, when it looks at the very factors which, if implemented by their federal colleagues, will result in less funding coming to the non-government school sector in the ACT? It is an interesting relationship about a "bloody nuisance".

Mr Pratt: Well, they are.


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