Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 3781..
MR BARR (continuing):
area where the ACT government has invested, with $20 million in information technology and for the establishment of a broadband network, so that every ACT public school has optic fibre access across a network in the ACT. This is backed by the Rudd government agenda in relation to provision of computers for all senior secondary school students. That is an important investment that is also in line with the direction the ACT government is taking in terms of investment in information and communication technology in our schools.
The provision of additional support for Australia's universities is another important investment from a Rudd Labor government. Support for those who are studying maths and science, by way of relief from HECS, particularly for those who want to enter into the teaching profession, is another important initiative to assist in addressing the shortage of teachers in those areas. All of these investments, in collaboration with the states and territories, will see the level of investment that this country needs in education and training. This will include an investment of $45 million that will be available for ACT schools for trades training centres, on top of the money that the ACT government is investing—more than $350 million in our public education system. This is money that the shadow minister refers to as throwing good after bad. We know the attitude of the Liberal opposition to investment in public education.
What we need is a federal government that is prepared to invest money. We will have that with the election of Kevin Rudd. We will have the education revolution that this country needs. We will have a cooperative working relationship between the states and territories and the federal government. However, what we will not have is the imposition of the HSC onto the ACT. We will not have the threats and the bullying from Julie Bishop to withdraw Commonwealth funding for ACT government schools. That is the threat, and that is the fundamental choice that voters will face, including voters in the ACT. It is about whether they are prepared to support a federal government that is prepared to rip funding out of the ACT—
Mrs Dunne: Schools that you closed after you lied to the electorate.
Mr TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne!
MR BARR: education system in pursuit of an ideological agenda around external exams.
Ms MacDonald: On a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker: Mrs Dunne just accused the minister of lying. I ask that she withdraw that.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, could you withdraw that, please.
Mrs Dunne: I presume I have to withdraw the word "lie", but the Labor Party did speak untruths to the electorate in relation to school closures.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne.
MR BARR: In the little time I have left, I would also like to highlight the investment that a federal Labor government will put into languages, particularly Asian languages,