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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 3 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 736..


MR BARR: If the Leader of the Opposition had bothered to listen to the previous answer, he might well have noted my response. Yes, of course, common sense indicates that you would do the vast majority of the work that could be conducted during school holiday periods—anything that you could possibly do—you would do then. That has been the policy of the government and of the department of education across what is the single largest investment in public education infrastructure renewal in the history of self-government.

We know the attitude of the Liberal Party to this investment. We know that they believe that any money spent on public education is throwing good money after bad. Mrs Dunne, as the former spokesperson, has said that time after time. The fact is that this opposition, seven months out from an election, has not produced a single education policy. All they can do is try to snipe from the sidelines as the government continues through the largest investment program in public education.

I am glad that we have this problem to sort through and that we have so much work that we need to undertake in the public education system that we have to work very, very hard to time all this work to occur during school holiday periods. We have been able to manage more than 225 projects over the first year across 72 different schools, the single largest investment in public education in the history of self-government in the ACT.

Those opposite have had nothing positive to say at all about the revolution that is occurring in public sector education infrastructure. It is only as a result of the commitment of this government to renew our public education infrastructure that we are seeing 17 years of backlog addressed and putting in place some fantastic new facilities in our public education system.

And what have those opposite got to say? Nothing but sniping from the sidelines! They have had nothing positive to say on education. The new Leader of the Opposition, with much fanfare, decided that he would give himself the education portfolio. What has he had to say since he has taken that on? A little bit of muddled confusion in his first interview about what was important for the public and the private systems!

He then got caught out and duckshoved to his right the selection of schools. He made this very big thing about how important the public education system was and then, when questioned on that, the Leader of the Opposition said, "Oh, I don't have any involvement in this."

MR SPEAKER: Order! Stop the clock. Resume your seat, please. I have called members of the opposition to order several times and I am going to start issuing some warnings. Start the clock. Mr Barr.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. He has had nothing to say on education.

Mr Pratt: I wish you didn't.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, I warn you.


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