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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (31 March) . . Page.. 1393..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

the development of our collective intellectual capacity. Unfortunately, the current income support for postsecondary students does nothing to back the ability of the poorest of its students, those with carer responsibilities or those with different cultural backgrounds, and the Greens will continue to push for a fairer higher education system.

I wish to move an amendment that addresses the unmet need in the ACT for TAFE places. I move:

Insert:

"(6) (a) calls on the ACT Government to accurately assess unmet need for TAFE courses in the ACT; and

(b) to provide the Assembly with an estimate of costs to meet that need by the last sitting day in this term.".

MR SPEAKER: Ms Tucker, I have referred back to some decisions that I have made and other Speakers have made in the past in relation to amendments, particularly with respect to standing order 140, which I will quote for the information of the Assembly:

Every amendment must be relevant to the question which it is proposed to amend.

The motion before the Assembly goes to the issue of student debt and youth allowance, Austudy and so on. The amendment talks about a different subject altogether, that is, the unmet need for TAFE courses in the ACT, and calls on the government to provided an estimate of the costs to meet that need. I think that that is outside the scope of the motion.

MS TUCKER: Could I clarify it?

MR SPEAKER: I am inclined to rule the amendment out of order, but I am prepared to listen to you.

MS TUCKER: I take your point, but I think that it is relevant in that it would be interesting to understand the unmet need and also to understand whether the capacity to pay is relevant to that. I know what you are saying, but I could argue that there is relevance there. I am interested in understanding whether the capacity to pay is actually stopping people from entering TAFE or the CIT.

Mrs Dunne: On that issue, Mr Speaker: whilst I think that your ruling is correct, that the amendment is not in the spirit of the motion, the opposition would be happy to consider an independent, free-standing motion on this topic at any stage. I think that might be a better way of dealing with it.

Ms MacDonald: Mr Speaker, speaking to the proposed amendment, I understand what Ms Tucker is asking for with the amendment to this motion, but it really is not relevant to the motion and it is a bit complex. I think that Ms Tucker is asking about unmet demand rather than unmet need, which are quite different issues. I would be happy to work with Ms Tucker towards having another motion, a stand-alone motion, on this issue, but the amendment does not relate directly to Austudy, Abstudy and youth allowance; it talks about courses rather than financial support for students.


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