Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 November 2007) . . Page.. 3627 ..
MR BARR: The government considered educational, social and financial factors, as—
DR FOSKEY: In Cook’s case?
MR BARR: Dr Foskey, stop interjecting. In Cook’s case, as in every other case, this government considered all of the relevant factors as required by the Education Act.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition will cease interjecting.
Mrs Dunne: No you didn’t.
MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mrs Dunne.
MR BARR: This insinuation comes from Dr Foskey three days before a federal election. She seeks to play this sort of cheap politics. She suggests that I have broken the law in not applying the requirements of the Education Act.
It is cheap, gutter politics from Dr Foskey. But it is what we have come to expect from the most conservative member of this chamber when it comes to any reform in education. She opposes early childhood schools. She opposes investment in public education. She cannot and will not grasp the fact that we must change the way we deliver education in the 21st century.
We must investment in the quality of our public education system. We must invest in information technology. We must invest in quality teaching and quality learning: quality language programs, quality arts programs, quality physical education—all of which we need to deliver across the entire education system.
It is important for every student in the ACT—not just those in Cook; every student—that we be able to allocate our resources effectively and efficiently. The level of subsidy to that school was well above the average amount we spend on students in the ACT. Cook was operating at a subsidy above that of other schools. Is that fair? No, it is not. We have taken the difficult decision to reinvest money back into our public education system to ensure that, no matter where you are in the ACT, you have the opportunity to get a first-class public education.
That is the government’s commitment backed by record investment in ensuring that every public school in the ACT is of the highest quality. We will continue to do so, in spite of the calls from the opposition to no longer invest in public education; their view is that this is throwing good money after bad. We do not agree with that. It is not throwing good money after bad; it is a sound investment in the future of students in the ACT.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in an article in the Canberra Times on 12 November this year Peter Martin wrote: