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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1529 ..


Mrs Dunne interjecting—

Mr Speaker, Mrs Dunne constantly interjects. I am trying to think who the shadow minister for training is in the Smyth opposition and I cannot think who it is. I think it might be Mrs Dunne, but I have not heard a peep out of Mrs Dunne about training in the ACT, other than interjecting in this question time because she does not like what I am saying. She does not understand the training system. She has not made a comment about the training system. I think she probably is the shadow. I am sure someone can answer that one for me. We have not heard a peep out of her. She cannot accept the reality of what is happening here in the training system. This is another example—

Mr Smyth: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Under standing order 118 (b) the minister is now debating her own point of order, which I think is probably out of order. She should actually be answering the question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I guess the minister should not respond to interjections from the shadow minister and it might be a good idea if the shadow minister did not interject, as I have tried to point out. I trust that Mrs Dunne will take note of that. The minister will confine herself to the subject matter of the question.

MS GALLAGHER: The Commonwealth points the finger of blame at the states saying that their refusal to sign up is about the states refusing to accept accountability requirements in their offer, and it simply is not the case. The states, for very good reasons, do have serious problems with a number of the areas contained in the proposed agreement. Provisions inserted for only one reason—to create disagreement on as many fronts as possible, to draw the attention away from the real issue, which is the failure to live up to its responsibility to adequately fund VET growth. The ACT government has this year alone injected $5.1 million into the training system in the ACT—something that has not been matched by the commonwealth, has not even come close to by the commonwealth. This is because of the demand we are seeing in growth in VET. The commonwealth is refusing to accept that there is any growth in VET, instead making us an offer of what we get under the agreement with CPI indexation, essentially.

MS PORTER: Minister, how will the abolition of ANTA impact on students in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank you for the opportunity to finish my answer to the previous question. This will have a serious effect on students in the ACT. It is one area in education and training where all industry groups, unions and governments work together. When you are involved in consultations and discussions around agreement, ANTA sticks out as the one that everyone works cooperatively on. You can ask any industry person whether they get on with trade unions or state governments in this area and they will say, “Yes”, because it is an area where we work together. Unfortunately that is not the environment the federal government would like to see continue. It is not an area that the federal government is funding appropriately and that will have a significant impact on the ACT.

The Howard government’s offer to the states includes our accepting the mandatory adoption of the national building and construction industry code, with policies aimed to


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