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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 69..


MR BARR (continuing):

we live in complex and rapidly changing times, through the Melbourne declaration we have committed ourselves to continue to work together for the benefit of young Australians and the nation as a whole.

A number of goals in the Melbourne declaration align very closely with the key commitments made by ACT Labor during the recent election campaign. We are already committed to working in partnership with the commonwealth on teacher quality to ensure that the best teachers are teaching in ACT classrooms. That is because, as Joel Klein, amongst others, has observed, the magic ingredient in education is teacher effectiveness, teacher quality.

The ACT Labor government has also made significant investments in the important early years of education. Next year we will see four new P-2 early childhood schools opening in the territory, and we have committed ourselves to initiatives that will allow us to close the achievement gap for all students and to invest in the best and brightest through our "gifted and talented"policy.

Under Labor, the ACT education system has developed a very proud reputation of producing students who are amongst the best educated of anywhere in the world, and this is because on this side of the chamber we know that the best investment any government can make is in education, for the future of our city and our nation. That is why this Labor government has invested more in education than any other government in the history of the territory and we will continue over the next four years to work with the commonwealth government to further enhance education in the territory.

Budget—strategy

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on 11 November 2008, in an interview on ABC Radio 666, you said:

The challenge for me I think is: How are we going to deliver on [our election announcements] and live within our means and present a surplus situation over the economic cycle?

Treasurer, what economic parameters are you using to describe your economic cycle and can you explain when this cycle started and when it will end?

MS GALLAGHER: I am glad to see that when they were on holidays they were all listening to my media comments. It's very flattering—three questions and three quotes from Katy! It's great.

Mrs Dunne: So who was on holidays?

Mr Stanhope: All of you lot.

MS GALLAGHER: Lying back on that banana lounge, listening to Triple 6. I can answer that I don't think there is uniform agreement about what constitutes an economic cycle. In my mind, in my thinking—


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