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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 3 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 950..


MR PRATT (continuing):

you claim that it was the only statement where the government misled the public about school closures in 2004 when the record shows that there were other occasions?

MS GALLAGHER: Obviously the opposition did not understand what I said yesterday. The pretty simple concept was that there were no plans to close schools before the 2004 election. So all those statements were correct. The part of the statement from the spokesperson was "in Ms Gallagher's lifetime". I think that was the quote, which was incorrect. The statement about no plans to close schools was correct.

On 30 November, I visited Ginninderra district high. In December, the Chief Minister visited Ginninderra district high. After both of those meetings, the Chief Minister and I had a discussion on what we do about Ginninderra district high, the state of repair of the facilities and the fact that enrolments were declining considerably. For a school that was built for 1,000, what do we do about it? From that point, we started a process of looking at alternative options for West Belconnen.

That is what I said yesterday. They are the comments I made. You do not understand it. It is a pretty simple concept. Honestly, you guys are going to have to get something else to pin your re-election hopes on or your election campaign hopes on. Nobody is listening. They accept my word in relation to this.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Keep going. There is nothing more to say, and I will not be saying anything further.

MR PRATT: Minister, when will you correct the record of the two false statements that you made in this place on 24 August 2004?

MS GALLAGHER: Those statements were correct.

Taxation—relativities

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in Assembly proceedings on Tuesday, 1 April 2008, in answer to a question by Ms Karin MacDonald you said:

... the ACT's taxation effort relative to other states and territories actually declined between 2005-06 and 2006-07 by 0.7 per cent; in other words, we reduced our taxation effort between 2005-06 and 2006-07 by 0.7 per cent.

Treasurer, according to the consolidated annual financial reports of the ACT issued by your own Treasury, the level of taxation revenue in 2006-07 was $986 million, up 17.7 per cent from the previous financial year. Treasurer, why do you insist on trying to downplay your government's massive increases in taxation by using figures of "relative taxation effort"instead of talking about the actual level of taxation in the ACT and its impact on Canberra households?


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