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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3846 ..


The Labor Party have had ongoing philosophical opposition to the non-government sector since Bob Menzies first started giving state aid to non-government schools. This goes back a long time, Madam Deputy Speaker, and they have not changed. They have changed some of their words, but what they fundamentally believe has not changed.

It was only two elections ago that the Labor Party told us—two elections ago—that we should elect Mark Latham as our Prime Minister. Mark Latham should be our Prime Minister: that is what Julia Gillard thought; that is what, presumably, Kevin Rudd thought; that was what Jon Stanhope and Andrew Barr thought—that Mark Latham should be our Prime Minister. Now, Mark Latham wanted—had, in fact—a hit list. He had a hit list, Madam Deputy Speaker, of non-government schools.

So, just two elections ago we were told: “If you vote Labor, you will get a hit list. You will get an anti-non-government school hit list.” What are we to make of a party that have such a hit list? Well, we look at their record, and they did not support it in the first place. They reluctantly agreed that there were some electoral implications perhaps in not supporting funding for non-government schools, and they have been kicking and screaming ever since. Of course, Mark Latham was perhaps the only honest one in the Labor Party, when he came out with what they truly believe, and that is that they believe you should go after the non-government sector.

We have heard it from the language of Mr Barr—having a go at the “blazer schools”, using that terminology, in order to divide. It is straight out of the Mark Latham playbook. It is the class warfare that we have seen from Mark Latham, and we have it from Mr Barr. He is trying to run away from it now. Perhaps, being able to count, he is looking at those numbers and saying, “There are perhaps a lot of parents who choose to send their kids to non-government schools in the ACT who maybe do not like that kind of language”—who maybe did not like the fact that the Labor Party had a hit list, supported by the ACT Labor Party.

The ACT Labor Party did not come out against Mark Latham’s hit list; they supported it. They voted for him. They handed out the how-to-votes. They were there saying: “Vote for Mark Latham’s hit list on non-government schools. Help us attack the non-government school sector.” That is the record of ACT Labor, and it is reflected right across the board.

I am reminded that in the last Assembly, if you want a local example of what you guys think of the non-government sector, four out of nine members of the Labor caucus voted for a motion that would have ended all funding to non-government schools. And one of them abstained. The Chief Minister abstained—

Mrs Dunne: Twice. They had to put the vote twice, and he still abstained.

MR SESELJA: So we actually technically probably had a majority of the Labor caucus, the last time this was put to them, voting in favour of a motion that would abolish funding to non-government schools, that would undermine their ability to exist. This is a motion that fell one vote short. This was only a couple of years ago,


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