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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2642..


MRS DUNNE: I ask a supplementary question. I presume I can take that as a yes. Therefore, minister—

MR SPEAKER: There will be no preamble, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: That was not a preamble, Mr Speaker. That was just a comment. This is the question: Is Mr Berry's assertion made on ABC radio this morning that your policy is driving people to the non-government sector correct? If it is not correct, will you set him straight on this?

MR BARR: The only information available at this point on enrolments for 2007 is in the college sector. As I have indicated in the Assembly previously, I am very pleased to report that we have seen an increase in enrolments in the college sector that has largely been driven by students coming out of the private system into the government system. Our belief is that this is to access the new and fantastic program that has been run at the ANU secondary college. That we are able to attract enrolments out of the private sector back into the government system is a sign that the government system is able to innovate and to offer new opportunities in state-of-the-art education. I am very, very pleased that that has been the case. Obviously we will not have further data on enrolments in primary and secondary education until a little later in the year. At this point the applications for colleges are up, and I think that is a very good achievement for our public education system.

Taxation

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. The Treasurer stated in question time yesterday:

It has to be understood—the community, every business and every householder understands—that if we want a range of services delivered at a certain standard there is a cost.

Given that the Treasurer has consistently produced budget deficits in GFS terms for the past three years, how many more taxes will he heap on the ACT taxpayer so he can meet the costs of running his inefficient and poorly managed government?

MR STANHOPE: At this stage I can say quite honestly that this government has no intention of imposing any additional taxes.

MR MULCAHY: I ask a supplementary question of the Treasurer. Is it fair that all Canberrans, even pensioners and those on fixed incomes, should have to pay flat taxes, such as the $84 fire and emergency services levy, and have their land rates indexed by the wage price index, just because he cannot control the spiralling costs of running his government?

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Mulcahy is asking for an expression of opinion. "Is it fair?"is clearly asking for an opinion and is out of order.


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