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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2302 ..


Fisher primary and of course, as I have just mentioned, Charnwood high school. If you are going to have a go, make sure you tell the whole story. Just saying, “One school, sorry, that was a mistake,” does not cut it for me. And having the pontificating hypocrisy to come in here and lecture the Greens, who were not even on the horizon when you people over there were closing schools without consultation, is a bit rich. And you are trying to lecture this minister on a consultation process that you people just did not bother with. You just thought, “Oh, it is economically the good thing to do.” Bang, good night!

I can tell you what consultation was given to the people of Holder. I had a brother-in-law living there at the time. I have a staff member who has been there since about 1860. The answer is none. What about Charnwood? None. The consultation was after the event, when we could not fill it and it became a derelict site and cost the ACT taxpayers a squillion in security services and boarding-up costs, to the extent that they had to have security guards installed before it got moved into a different space.

Ordinarily I would not engage in this particular debate—there are people much more expert in it than I am—but I will not stand by and listen to that pontificating dribble that Mrs Dunne is so constantly coming up with, when she gives this chamber 20 per cent of a story and holds it up as being the whole lot. It is not, and someone has to stand up here and say to her, “Get your facts straight.”

Mr Doszpot: So you are giving us 17 per cent there, John?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Doszpot, you should be quiet right now. Right now you are on the right side of the ledger. Do not wreck it. So far Mr Doszpot has behaved remarkably well. I congratulate him to this point. I plead with him not to tempt me to decimate him, because I will.

I am, on behalf of the government and indeed myself, having worked in the sector prior to coming here, appalled and insulted by the insinuations that Mrs Dunne brings forward. It is absolutely disgusting. She lays these sorts of things at the feet of the minister. She says the consultation process was not adequate. If the minister was to table the extent of the consultation process that he engaged in, it would go for reams.

The fact is the consultation process did not reveal the results that those opposite wanted to hear. That is the simple fact. The consultation process itself cannot be criticised. They did none. This minister did heaps of it. Because it did not come up with the answer that they wanted, because they saw a political point to be scored, they continue it.

Here is a fact for them: it is over. They should get over it and look forward to the education revolution and the innovations that this minister has brought to bear with education in this city, since all of that has happened, and the tens of millions of dollars that have been sunk into the education process. We can argue about that if you like—about the priorities, whether we think it is the right spot or the wrong spot, fine—but going back and revisiting it and giving hope to people in the community, where there is none, and criticising the process, which was robust, from a position of hypocrisy is just plain not on. I suggest we follow the lead of the minister for education.


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