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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 3 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 737..


MR BARR: His only contribution has been, once, to borrow policy that the government put in place 12 months ago to try to capitalise for some short-term political gain on an incident that occurred at a school in Tuggeranong.

Now he has decided that refurbishment work to ensure that we have world-class early childhood education is a bad thing. There we go. That is the position of the Liberal Party. Opposition to any new initiative in public education is throwing good money after bad. That is what we see time and time again from the Liberal opposition—nothing constructive to add to the education debate.

We, on this side of the house, look forward to continuing our $350 million investment in education renewal.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order: the minister cannot debate the question.

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat. The minister is directing himself to the subject matter of the question. Continue.

Mr Smyth: The question is: will he rule out similar disruption at other schools? He has refused to answer that question.

MR SPEAKER: He has touched on that issue. I heard him.

MR BARR: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. As I indicated, the government is undertaking the largest ever investment in public education. What this means for schools that have been neglected over 17 years of self-government, most particularly during the Carnell years when public sector infrastructure was run down so badly in our education system—the record of the Liberal Party in government in investing in public education is shocking; the record stands for itself—is that this government is investing in building new schools where there is a clear demand for new education infrastructure and in renewing our ageing infrastructure to update that infrastructure to be more environmentally sustainable, in line with the latest in information and communication technology, and providing much improved classrooms and dedicated specialist teaching areas, to improve the position across the board.

In 2006-07, more than 220 projects were successfully managed across 72 schools. The record of the department of education in effectively managing this massive renewal of public infrastructure is second to none. They have done an outstanding job to deliver so many projects. It is part of a massive outlay in public education.

Griffith oval No 1

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the minister for planning, sport and recreation. Minister, you will be aware of significant community disquiet about the application of your department to encircle Griffith oval No 1, a public oval, with a colourbond fence. Two petitions, totalling almost 100 signatures, from residents opposing the application were presented in the last sitting period.


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