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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3542 ..

nothing else for me to say. If you find that dissent, I withdraw, but I do not think it was dissent.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: It is not dissent. It is an aspersion on the chair and I asked you to withdraw.

MR RATTENBURY: I withdraw.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Rattenbury.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.20): Madam Assistant Speaker, I thank you for bringing forward the amendment. We all listened with interest to Senator Brown’s comments at the Press Club today. We were all interested, particularly because of Mr Barr’s passionate and spirited defence of the Greens’ education policy. He was saying they had to clarify it. They clarified it. We have had two Greens speakers, neither of whom has walked away from it. In fact, Mr Rattenbury said, “We’ve got all our policies on the website.” The policy on the website says you are going to slash $60 million from non-government schools. So there is your answer.

But we also got the answer through the non-answer of Senator Brown. Senator Brown was asked what the position was: was it the pragmatic position or the more strident position, let’s say, of cutting the $60 million? He refused to answer. He said, “We have not taken a vote.” I guess it will depend on how the Greens are feeling on any given day. There was no answer on that question.

Mr Barr: That’s a problem then. They need to clarify—

MR SESELJA: Mr Barr agrees that it is a problem, and it is a problem. We can take it from that that the policy on the website is correct.

What different standards are there now? Your policy is on your website. It is still there three days out from an election. You are asked whether or not it is your policy. You do not say that it is not your policy, but somehow we are to believe that maybe it is not. It is crystal clear, and it has been confirmed now through Senator Brown’s non-answer and through the contributions from the Greens in this place. They have not walked away from it; they have backed it up. They have backed up the $60 million slashing of the non-government school sector. They have backed up the $37 million slashing of the private health rebate in the ACT, cutting the 30 per cent rebate for all Canberrans—for all Australians.

Senator Brown had some other interesting things to say and Mr Rattenbury referred to them in his speech. He talked about the fact that they were going to put extra money into education. Senator Brown was asked about this. He was asked about, firstly, the mining tax. He said he wants the old mining tax which brought down a prime minister. Senator Brown wants that mining tax. They asked him, “What if you can’t get that? What are you going to do? Are you going to vote it down?” He said, “No. We’re going to take the alternative between the Liberals’ position, which is not to have a massive increase in the mining tax, and the compromised position which the Rudd-Gillard government has come up with.” They have chosen it.

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