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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2231 ..

I now seek the support of this Assembly to join me in calling for this government to explain why the minister repeatedly refused to meet with both of these organisations. I call on the Assembly to join me in calling for the minister to meet with the Shepherd Centre and Noah’s Ark management to ascertain the viability of service continuation and alternatives and report back to the Assembly by the last sitting day in June 2010. I call on the minister to consult the parents of children affected by the discontinuation of LNSLN funding and to look at viable alternative models to continue provision of these services, and deliver a comprehensive report to the Assembly. I call on the minister to detail what the Stanhope government has done to ask the commonwealth government to review their decision to discontinue this funding. Madam Deputy Speaker, I trust that our colleagues on the crossbench will see fit to support this motion.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (11.05): Since the last private members’ day in May some things have certainly changed. The days are colder. The snow season has begun. But some things, it would appear, have not changed. The Liberals’ approach to private members’ business is still, as it has always been, opposition for opposition’s sake.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: The motion before the Assembly today contains a number of errors and misstatements.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: Let me begin by informing the Assembly of the background and context for this debate. I hope—

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: It might well be a vain hope, given that we are not even 60 seconds into the speech and already the catcalls are coming from those opposite, but it might assist the Assembly in considering these matters.

The literacy, numeracy and special learning needs, non-government centre support program, the program which previously funded Noah’s Ark and the Shepherd Centre, was governed by the quadrennial guidelines 2004-08. I do not think that fact is in dispute.

The ACT Department of Education and Training administered this funding, on behalf of the government, through a grant submission process, according to the commonwealth’s guidelines. I also do not think that is a matter of any contention.

The Shepherd Centre received funding from the commonwealth for an early intervention program for children who are hearing impaired with cochlear implants.

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