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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3920..


MR STANHOPE: I have to say—and I do regret this and I apologise most sincerely—I just cannot quite recall what lease clause 3 (e) says. I do apologise.

Schools—closures

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, before the last election, you told the people of the ACT that you had no plans to close schools. After the election, your government closed 23 schools, gutting the heart out of many communities, especially in my electorate of Ginninderra. Will you make the same promise today, that it is not your intention to close more schools?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have no recollection of having said at any stage that we would not be closing schools. I will be more than happy to take the question on notice. If Mrs Dunne will actually table the claim and the evidence that suggests I did say that, then, of course, I would be better placed to answer.

I am more than happy to take the question on notice. I am sure that the claim that Mrs Dunne makes is completely false. But if it is not false, if it is not a complete confection, I have no doubt that she can table the documentary evidence that proves the claim. If you can table it now, Mrs Dunne, then perhaps I can respond before the close of question time today. I move:

That the document quoted from by Mrs Dunne be presented to the Assembly.

If she then tables it, I will be happy to respond before the close of the Assembly today. Mrs Dunne, please table the documentary evidence that substantiates the claim you just made. I will take the question on notice and respond after you do.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Education—arts curriculum

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, could you advise the Assembly about the Stanhope government's commitment to arts as part of the ACT curriculum?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and her ongoing and longstanding interest in education matters. Ms Porter has asked more questions on education in this place in this term of government than the entire Liberal opposition combined. Ms Porter has shown more interest in education than the entire Liberal opposition combined.

The government is committed to arts as part of a well-rounded school curriculum. The results of our focus on arts in education as well as the talents of our students and the dedication of our teachers was on show last night at the Canberra Theatre, as part of the Step into the Limelight performing arts and visual arts spectacular. I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that the event was an outstanding success, with up to 1,000 students from across the territory performing to a sell-out crowd at the Canberra


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