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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2236 ..


MADAM SPEAKER: I make the point that you raised a point of order 10 seconds into the answer.

MS BERRY: The point is that the ACT government does not actually set the price of early childhood education fees. I agree that they are too expensive. I agree that it should be more affordable. But no state or territory government sets the fees. If there were some way that the federal government wanted to subsidise the wages of the workers in those centres so that those centres could charge less and more families could access those services, that is something I would absolutely get behind. What we are doing is using the levers that we have responsibility for: providing universal access and expanding it from four-year-olds to include three-year-olds as well, which is more than the Canberra Liberals have ever done.

It being 3 pm, proceedings were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2019-2020

[Cognate bill:

Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2019-2020]

Debate resumed from 4 June 2019, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (3.00): Canberra is a great city. It is the place that we choose to call home. I want the best for this city. I want the best days to be ahead of us.

We are blessed to live in this wonderful environment, but what really makes Canberra so special is the people, past and present. There have been Aboriginal people here serving as wise custodians for thousands of years. We honour them. We have had past generations of people who pioneered the capital; they designed and built this city. We have a wonderful current generation that sustains us.

Great cities have great people, and great people deserve a great government. I want a government that empowers Canberrans to live to their potential. I want the ACT to be a beacon: a city of choice for families; a city of choice for people in business; a city of choice for workers, for retirees, for migrants, for students, for kids, for everyone.

I believe the role of government is not to determine what is best for people but to do the behind-the-scenes work to ensure that dreams are possible. I want to be part of a government that opens doors, not one that closes them.

Unfortunately, this government treats Canberrans with contempt. The government say that they know best. This government does not trust the people it represents. If the government does not trust the citizens, how can we expect the citizens to trust the government? It seems to me that right now we have a government that is actively working against Canberrans, particularly poorer Canberrans. This government has an agenda that deliberately prices thousands of people out of this city.


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