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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (13 August) . .

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If the Chief Minister had a purpose in establishing a portfolio, then she must be able to say how we achieved the objectives and how we have accountability to make sure that that is occurring. It is not an unreasonable request. I am disappointed that the government only noted the response. They do not need to wait for the federal government on this. They could actually do this today. They should have done it before the budget. They should have done it last year. They should be able to tell us what it is they seek to achieve in higher education as a portfolio and, indeed, in regional development as a portfolio.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.15): I would like to take my second 10 minutes, Madam Deputy Speaker. It gives me enormous pleasure to speak on this important line item in the budget, child care, partly in response to comments made by those opposite last night but mostly to reiterate the importance of this topic without resorting to invective, personal attack and the obvious, though clumsy, attempt at class warfare we saw last night.

However, the spray, especially from Ms Berry last night, was far too entertaining, in a fictional, made-up sort of way on the spur of the moment, to let pass without having another word on the topic. What we heard last night was some sort of bizarre, muddled, and clearly, may I say, fallacious recollection by Ms Berry of my MPI speech last week in relation to—as I said at the time, as I said last night, and as I say again now—an important topic for Canberra families: affordable, available, quality child care.

I am not sure if Ms Berry last week during her own MPI was asleep, had selective hearing, or perhaps did not have her glasses on, but she clearly did not comprehend what I said. I repeat now for the record—

Ms Berry interjecting—

Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Hanson.

Mr Hanson: I may have misheard, but I do believe I heard Ms Berry say, "She's a cow." I stand to be corrected. If that is the case, I would ask that she withdraw.

Ms Berry: I withdraw.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Ms Berry. Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Thank you for proving my point. I repeat now, for the record, some of what I said last week during the MPI. I encourage her to read the Hansard rather than rely on her own patently inadequate recollection. I quote:

I, too, see that there is a strong importance of investing in quality childcare and early education in the ACT, but I would also like to add to the discussion today that along with quality, the cost and availability of childcare is also a serious matter of importance to Canberra families.


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