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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2254..


MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. I am going to hear the whole question and then make a decision. Mr Smyth, let us hear the whole question and then I will decide what we are going to do.

MR SMYTH: Perhaps I will start again. Chief Minister, on 29 July 2006, at the ACT ALP conference, the left wing put forward a resolution which proposed the end of funding to non-government schools. It stated, amongst other things:

The growth of private education is facilitating the fragmentation of Australia's children along ethnic, cultural and particularly religious lines.

Chief Minister, both you and Mr Corbell voted for this resolution. Chief Minister, do you still hold the view that private education is facilitating the fragmentation of Australia's children along ethnic, cultural and particularly religious lines?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not sure how it relates to my responsibilities as Chief Minister about—

MR SPEAKER: Before you start, Ms Gallagher, I want to have a moment to think about this.

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, question time relates to the questioning of ministers in relation to their portfolio responsibilities. Previous Speakers, and you, Mr Speaker, have ruled previously that questions about party political matters do not fall within portfolio responsibilities and are out of order.

Mr Smyth: I specifically said "as Chief Minister".

Mr Seselja: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, it is quite in order for the opposition to ask the Chief Minister of this territory whether she believes that private schooling is divisive. It is quite in order.

Ms Gallagher: That wasn't the question.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Seselja has the floor.

Mr Seselja: Well, it is the question. The question is very straightforward. It asked her whether she endorses those views. She has voted on it in the past, and we are quite entitled, on a matter of public policy, to know the Chief Minister's views on non-government education. Does she hold to those views or not?

MS GALLAGHER: I am happy to answer that question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! I am going to rule the question out of order because it was framed in the context of matters undertaken at the ALP's party


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