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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 April 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1441 ..


health care system is funded by people who may never get sick. We accept this situation. It is not even an acceptance that this is the way things have to be; there is a level of understanding that, if we did not accept this situation, we would never have these services.

The argument that students might not use something and therefore they should not have to pay for it is simply not acknowledging the fact that all of us pay a bit so that everyone can have access to things they need even though we might never need them. As I was saying before, I do not care much that my tax dollar might go into prostate cancer research, even though I am never going to need that research. There is a level of understanding that we all contribute in our community to ensure that everyone has access to the services that they might need even if we ourselves might not need them.

We have here a situation where universities, and university life as we know it, are going to change significantly, and for the worse. The opposition can say that students are not worried about it now so that means it is all right. But there are a number of students, many, across the country who are very worried about it. Also, it is our job, as people responsible for education and for funding that goes into education, to look down the track a bit. Even though every student might not be outraged at the present time, in two years someone might need a service and it will no longer be there. There is a responsibility on us to ensure that that does not happen, that we protect these services. It is simply not fair to say that, because there is no rioting in the streets, this is all right and students actually want this delivered.

We are very happy to support Mr Gentleman’s motion and we will not be supporting Mrs Dunne’s amendments. We as a government will, as Dr Foskey said, be looking at ways to work with student organisations, student unions, to support their work and to ensure that essential services are not reduced on the university campuses. To the extent that the ACT government can protect our students, we will work to do that.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne’s amendments be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6 Noes 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Mulcahy

Dr Foskey

Mr Quinlan

Mr Pratt

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Mr Gentleman

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendments negatived.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (3.56), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to the debate today. As I mentioned when speaking earlier, I recognise that the issue of choice is one predictably to arise in this debate. I think it is important to


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