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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 8 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3505..


MR BARR (continuing):

managers for the duration of the projects. The construction managers estimate that, on average, each of the larger P21 projects involves 200 workers at the various stages.

It is also estimated that 68 P21 projects continuously support, on average, 915 on-site workers each day, including 179 apprentices. As an indication of the number of workers involved with the projects, the department of education has provided 3,700 police checks.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. My supplementary is: can the minister please advise of any risk to future improvements in relation to schools?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question.

Mr Hargreaves: I've got a continuing interest, by the way.

MR BARR: You certainly do. There are very real risks that the BER programs in the ACT will not be able to be completed if Tony Abbott wins on Saturday. There are jobs at risk; there are unfinished projects. All ACT government projects in public schools are due for completion, and are on track for completion, by the end of this calendar year. But that final amount of money—and it is nearly $32 million that we are expecting from the commonwealth government—is at risk if Mr Abbott is elected.

What will happen to those payments if the Liberals are elected on the weekend? We know Mr Abbott hates Canberrans—he wants to sack 12,000 of us. We know he hates Canberra—he will not live here. So we can assume that he hates Canberra taxpayers as well. There are $30 million worth of BER projects that need to be completed by the end of this year and that funding is at risk. If it does not come from the federal government, it will have to come from the territory government, and we would have to find $32 million in the next four months, Mr Speaker, in order to complete those projects. I am sure that you would understand, as would the majority of sane people in this chamber, that leaving those projects unfinished because the funding was cut off by Tony Abbott would be a very poor outcome for ACT schools.

So that is what is at risk—the completion of all of these BER projects. If Mr Abbott gets his way, after this Saturday he will commence sacking 12,000 public servants. And the overwhelming majority, of course, will be located in this city.

Mr Smyth: That is a lie. You can't lie to the Assembly.

MR BARR: The fact that Mr Smyth is squealing so much indicates the sensitivity of the Liberal Party on this issue.

Planning—affordable housing

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is for the Minister for Planning and concerns draft territory plan variations 301 and 303. Minister, how will these variations impact on


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