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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3557 ..


major parties have said that they will review this funding in 2013. What the Greens have clearly stated is that there will be no change—no change—to any funding for schools. It will remain with the current model until that review. We look forward to that review, because there are problems with the current funding model. Educational experts have told us that there are some problems with the current funding model.

What we need to ensure through that review, and I am sure it will be a comprehensive and thorough review, is that we get a fair funding formula and allocation. And what we need to understand, and I am sure it is understood here, is that there are many different types of independent schools, of Catholic schools. There are some that are better off than others. As I said before, and I will state it again, we want to ensure that we get the balance right—both supporting private schools, and in particular less well off independent and Catholic schools, and ensuring that our public schools are of the very best quality.

I am hoping that that has clarified for Mr Barr, and others in this chamber today, where the Greens are standing. We are not saying that we will be moving to change these funding formulas. There is a review in 2013. We look forward to that review being undertaken.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.13), by leave: What Ms Hunter has done is again avoid what is actually in the policy. The policy specifically goes against that. One point is to support the maintenance of the total level of commonwealth funding for private schools at 2003-04 levels. Now that would cut $60 million. But then it actually goes on—and Ms Hunter did not go anywhere near addressing this—to say that the Greens will end the current arrangement for recurrent funding to non-government schools by no later than the end of 2010. So, far from it being in 2013, their policy says to end it by the end of 2010 and return it to 2003-04 levels.

That is why there is this significant confusion. I think it is important that we have this debate. I have seen Mr Barr’s amendment—I will not speak to it before he moves it—and it is important that we get absolute clarity. On the one hand, we have got policy which is very clear on a number of those things, but it contradicts what Ms Hunter was just saying even then. The Leader of the Greens today had the opportunity with the megaphone of a National Press Club address, an opportunity afforded only to the four party leaders—the leaders of the Nationals, the Liberals, the Greens and the Labor Party—to answer the question, and he refused to answer it. Because of that lack of clarity and the words of Ms Hunter that are contradicted by the parts of the policy that she did not address, it is reasonable that we as an Assembly actually seek that clarification.

Amendment negatived.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (5.16)(by leave): I move:

Omit all words after “notes”, substitute:


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