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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2870..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

at the family and individual student level on every aspect of the implications of a school closure.

This decision to play the race card, which the Liberal Party is now willingly engaging in, is, of course, consistent with their history in other places, although they have perhaps been a bit leery of that approach here. That is what it is. For the sake of the stunt, they talk initially about the implications for this group of students; then we move on to the implications for this group of students.

There are implications, of course, for every child potentially affected by a school closure, which is every child in government education in the ACT, because of our capacity to ensure optimal educational outcomes in a system running at 30 per cent below capacity at significant cost. The cost is not just in dollars. The cost is very much in our capacity to provide that range and depth of educational opportunity that will ensure the sorts of outcomes which we all expect within the territory for all children that are part and parcel of the system.

It cannot be done if we continue to run or seek to support a system with 30 per cent spare capacity in the context not just of the cost but in the context of the lost educational opportunities for us to ensure optimal outcomes for every child within the ACT government system, not just indigenous children, for whom this government has responded strongly and received outstanding results in a national context, but for all children in the system.

Roads

MR PRATT: My question is directed to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, Mr Hargreaves. In appropriation bill debates last sitting you claimed—at some length I might add—that your government had committed to millions of dollars worth of roads capital works and roads improvements in the 2006-07 budget. In fact, you were referring to works in last year's budget, were you not? Why did you not realise that you had the wrong budget before you got up to speak? You gave incorrect information to the Assembly.

MR HARGREAVES: I thought I had explained it once before, but perhaps not. From the volume of budget papers contained in my drawer down here, I took out and extracted—I clearly indicated at the time—the wrong one. Right colour, wrong thing. I fessed up to that and made no secret of it. I do not think that there is much more to be said about it.

However, I say to Mr Pratt that you are a sad and disappointing person. Is that the best you can do when you have the opportunity to quiz the government on the content of its programs and policies? We are talking about our local roads and maintenance expenditure; I was half expecting a question from Mr Pratt based on recent articles in the Canberra Times on potholes. I know what an absolutely committed local member Mr Pratt is and the fixation he has with potholes.

In fact, I can also recall in the same area promising to get Mr Pratt his very own pothole. I have to fess up to the Assembly: I am an abject failure—I have not yet delivered that pothole. But I will get hold of the officers who assured me you would have a pothole and


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