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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 9 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 2738..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

funding to non-government schools in the country. Non-government schools in Canberra are doubly disadvantaged by, one, the SES model as it will apply prospectively and, two, by the complete underfunding of the sector by the ACT government.

This is a real concern. The fact that there is no Catholic high school in Gungahlin is a concern to many of the parents I spoke to who would like to send their kids to a Catholic high school in their area. It is a growing area. As I said, there are 535 students at Good Shepherd at Amaroo and there will be many more in years to come.

Mr Barr: It is just as well there are so many quality government schools, then.

MR SESELJA: Indeed, we are grateful for the government schools. I would make the point, as Mr Barr interjects, that there is only one side of politics that is actually committed to both government schools and non-government schools in the territory. That is the reality. We have seen that in their attitude. We saw that at the Labor Party conference where a motion that was totally anti non-government schools was defeated by only one vote.

We know the Labor Party's position on non-government schools. We saw the hit list from Mark Latham at the last election. We have seen the inadequate levels of funding from this government. We have seen what they have done in ripping the heart out of many government school communities in the ACT as part of their slash and burn approach to closing government schools in the territory. We know that there is only one side of politics that actually supports both government schools and non-government schools.

The underfunding of non-government schools in the territory continues to be an issue and will continue to be an issue going into the next election. This government has slashed and burned in the government sector and completely neglected the non-government sector, and we will continue to hold the government accountable for that.

Once again, I congratulate the parents and staff of the Good Shepherd Catholic primary school at Amaroo. It is a great school community. It was wonderful to be there to celebrate the opening of the new part of their school. I look forward to many more visits there in the future and to continuing to contribute to the Gungahlin community.

Housing

Narrabundah Long Stay Caravan Park

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.00): I want to talk about a couple of related events that I have attended in the last week or so, starting with the most recent. Today at lunchtime the Chief Minister launched a book that has been produced after quite a long time in the gestation about the threat to the Narrabundah Long Stay Caravan Park. At the height of the campaign it was decided by some of the community organisations involved in the campaign that some of the stories of the residents, accompanied by photos of those same people in their dwellings, would make a really good book and, hopefully, campaign tool.


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