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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2229..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

Mr Speaker has indicated his agreement with one event in the program being hosted here at the Legislative Assembly, and on behalf of the committee I thank Mr Speaker for that consideration. The committee sincerely also thanks the Northern Territory Public Accounts Committee, its secretariat, and the Northern Territory parliament for its welcome and warm and generous hospitality in hosting the 2006 ACPAC mid-term meeting. Meeting papers are available for perusal in the Committee Office.

Pursuant to standing order 246A I also wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to inquiries about certain Auditor-General's reports currently before the committee. They are a review of Auditor-General's performance audit report No 7 of 2005, 2004-05 Financial audits, and a review of Auditor-General's performance audit report No 1 of 2006, Regulation of charitable collections and incorporated associations.

On 13 December 2005, Auditor-General's report No 7 of 2005 entitled 2004-05 Financial Audits was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry. On 28 March 2006, Auditor-General's report No 1 of 2006 entitled Regulation of charitable collections and incorporated associations was also referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry. Consequently, the committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General in relation to the reports, and on 26 July 2006 resolved to inquire further into each of the reports. The committee is expecting to report to the Legislative Assembly on both of the Auditor-General's reports as soon as practicable.

Education Amendment Bill 2006 (No 3)

Mrs Dunne, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.24): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Despite assertions to the contrary, the people of the ACT own government schools. This bill is designed to give the schools back to the people and redress the disgraceful treatment meted out to the ACT school community by this government over the past 10 weeks. Since the budget, Canberrans have been forced to watch in horror while Minister Barr has conducted his eight Clayton's consultations; while he has relied on outdated and inaccurate figures and while he has misleadingly and selectively quoted educationalists in justifying the horror that is Towards 2020.

To date, this government has tried to pass off Towards 2020 as a package of school renewal, necessarily involving some tough but responsible decisions about school closures and amalgamations. The package certainly does contain some tough decisions but are they responsible? It might be something, but is it the right something? A necessary element of responsibility in government is not merely being prepared to cop the political consequences of choice but is often just plain old recklessness.

Real responsibility in government does not, as the Chief Minister seems to think, simply involve a willingness to make choices despite the fact that they may bring bad political


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