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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1849..


I was happy that there is a sign of confidence in this public system. However, I do not view the census as a matter of winners and losers. In the article the journalist used "win"as an interpretation wrongly attributed to me but not as a direct quote from me. However, the editorial the next day used "win"as though it was a direct quote from me, which it was not. My office raised this issue with the journalist on the same day, 17 April.

With regard to Mr Seselja's assertions that the Liberals are the only party that supports Catholic schools in the Assembly, I find this baseless assertion highly offensive. I might as well say that, like so many of his claims in the Assembly, Mr Seselja's statement that I only pay lip-service to the Catholic and independent schools has no substance. Since coming to government Labor has had a long history of providing additional funding to the non-government sector for new computers, capital infrastructure, disability services and teacher development.

As minister, I want that tradition to continue because, unlike these divisive, sectarian members on the other side—Mr Seselja and Mr Doszpot—I want the best outcome for all Canberra students, whatever school or whatever sector they come from. The tradition I do not want is Mr Seselja's and the Liberal's tradition of sectarianism, their tradition of smearing and their captivity to old ideas, a captivity of divisiveness.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (4.17): I find this part of the debate unbelievable. We are hearing both from Dr Bourke and from Ms Hunter the words "we support independent schools; we support Catholic education". And yet, if that is the case, how is it that out of a very simple motion here today, which is in support of Catholic schools week, which is in support of all education in the ACT, you cannot bring yourself, Dr Bourke, to vote—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Through the chair, please, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Dr Bourke cannot bring himself, despite his eloquent comments about how supportive he and his party are of Catholic and independent education, and indeed all education in Canberra, to support this motion. We have moved this motion based on all schools in Canberra, be they government, independent or Catholic schools. We do concentrate slightly on the Catholic element because of Catholic schools week, but we have a motion that basically looks at showing support, and showing that support through this Assembly here this afternoon, for all schools.

In my motion I call on the Assembly to note five points. Yet the thought police have gone to work here and with three of them have said, "No, we are not accepting that, that or that."Let us look at the points they would not accept. Point (c) states:

the ACT Government has continued to deliver fewer resources to Catholic schools with the ACT having twice the resource gap between government and Catholic schools compared to the national average ...

This is a fact, yet they will not accept the fact. They do not even want it noted that that is a reality. Point (d) should also be omitted, according to Dr Bourke, and it states:


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