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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 4607..


MR HANSON: Minister, if we were wrong, why have you back-flipped and reinstated the positions?

MR BARR: The department has undertaken a consultation process, as you would expect the department to do, in accordance with its requirements under its enterprise agreements and its commitment to the government to achieve its budget targets. We do not resile from those budget targets. We will not be deterred by the petty squabblings of those opposite, the entirely inconsistent public policy positions that are put by the Canberra Liberals time and time again, their manifest failure to be able to address the budgetary issues that this territory faces, their inability to embrace any form of microeconomic reform. They are classic oppositionists for opposition's sake. They continue down this path and they have been exposed by the Canberra Times on the weekend and again today for the policy failures that they are.

This government remains committed to our budget target and to achieving the efficient delivery of public services across all ACT government departments. Education is no exception to that.

Education—disability funding

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, in your capacity as the minister for disability and multicultural affairs, can you outline what input you or members of your department had in relation to cuts announced by the department of education in relation to disability support services, post-school options programs and ESL teaching support?

MS BURCH: The programs which you have asked about are things which Minister Barr has just responded to. I am certainly not aware of any conversation that has come through the department or my office that has been linked to the work that DET has done. The disability programs that I manage remain intact.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what representations did you make on behalf of people with disability and people in the multicultural community about the impacts of the proposed cuts put forward by the department of education?

MS BURCH: I did indeed have a watchful eye on the conversation as it was unfolding, and particularly the misinformed conversation that was coming over from their end. A watchful brief included being aware of the impact of any changes. But given that these were all proposals on the table and decisions yet to be made, I am not quite sure how Mrs Dunne expected me to jump over a hurdle that was yet to be put in front of me.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.


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