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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 458..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

advice from the police on the exact issue here, but I would hazard a guess that we have ourselves a particular group of people who have a particular target in mind. Instead of whipping up hysteria, those folks should be encouraging these people to call Crime Stoppers, to take as much detail as they can and to assist the police in stopping it. Instead they come into this chamber and go to the media and try to frighten everybody. They say it is my fault because I have not mounted a guard, because I have not patrolled around the outside of the Erindale shopping centre with a pick handle to stop these horrors from robbing shop owners.

Mrs Burke: You're the minister.

MR HARGREAVES: "You are the minister for police,"says Mrs Burke. Indeed I am, and I am very proud to be so because we have the best police force in the country for this sort of activity. Have a look at the stats. Mrs Burke, I suggest that you have remedial reading classes to have a look at the stats. I am sick to death of these people opposite frightening people to death. It is no surprise to me, Mr Speaker, that people will respond to fear if it is suggested to them. I am sick and tired of these people suggesting fear to the community.

Teachers-wage negotiations

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for education. Minister, the Australian Education Union made several claims in today's media about the impact of the government's new pay offer on the wages and conditions of government schoolteachers in the territory. Could you confirm whether these claims are correct.

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Last week I put a generous, reasonable and affordable offer to our government schoolteachers. I thought that offer would be very attractive to teachers as it provided a pay increase above CPI with the retention of all current conditions, including the lowest face-to-face teaching hours in the country, along with the best remuneration package. Members will recall that yesterday in this place I advised, after calls from the AEU for parity with New South Wales, that I had put an additional offer to teachers in an effort to avoid the planned strike action by government schoolteachers next Tuesday.

The offer was for parity with New South Wales-parity of pay, parity in hours and, where possible, parity in superannuation. The AEU appear to have rejected this offer already. As was the case with the government's initial offer, they have made several incorrect claims about the impact of that wage offer on their members. Only this morning on the ABC the AEU suggested that the offer I made yesterday in this place would lead to the adoption of the New South Wales teaching system, larger class sizes and significant job cuts.

It was not the government that put the pay, conditions and working environment of New South Wales teachers on the table; it was the AEU. The ACT government have no intention of changing our curriculum and structure to fit New South Wales. The pay and conditions of our teachers-even if they were to revert to those of New South Wales-would have nothing to do overall with the government school system as a whole. The AEU suggest that parity with New South Wales will lead to a reduction of primary school teaching positions. It will not. We are talking about 15 minutes in the


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