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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3847 ..


Madam Deputy Speaker. In July 2006, we had members of this government voting for a motion that would get rid of non-government school funding.

In fact, it went further, this motion that was voted on by half of the caucus. Half of the caucus said, “The growth of private education is facilitating the fragmentation of Australia’s children along ethnic, cultural and, particularly, religious lines.” Catholic schools: not allowed, divisive. Christian schools: not allowed, divisive. Muslim schools: not allowed. Any other non-government school, according to the Labor Party in the ACT, is divisive, Madam Deputy Speaker. That is what this mob think.

We do not have to go back to when they opposed it 50 years ago. We do not have to go back 50 years to find how much they opposed non-government education. We do not even have to go back as far as six years, when Mark Latham was the Prime Minister that they wanted us to have—that the ACT Labor Party wanted us to have—with his hit list, with his attacks on non-government schools. We only have to go back a couple of years here, where half of the ACT Labor caucus voted for a motion that says, “This is divisive.”

In fact, I think Katy Gallagher may have voted for that. I think that is what the Deputy Chief Minister of the ACT believes. She believes that non-government education is divisive. We have a flow-on effect: I believe Simon Corbell may have voted for that motion. So Simon Corbell and Katy Gallagher—the Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer—say that we should not be funding non-government schools. That is what they truly believe.

They can try and run away from it all they like, but the reality is that their record is there for all to see. And it is no surprise that we saw a very uncomfortable looking Ms Hunter get up to support Mr Barr’s amendment, because last week in this place the Greens voted against a motion that actually would have just called on them to clarify their policy on non-government schools. It called on them to clarify, and I commend Mr Barr for his amendment, because I would have thought it was reasonable that a party clarifies their position on non-government education.

There was a lot of discussion last week about the Greens’ policies, and they were rejected in the Senate. That is why they finished more than 20,000 votes behind. No matter what spin they try and put on it, when you finish 20,000 votes behind—

Mr Barr: Right, so they did get Gary below quota.

MR SESELJA: Perhaps it has got something to do—

Mr Barr: Gary will get back in on Democrat preferences.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Barr!

MR SESELJA: Perhaps the fact that they finished more than 20,000 votes behind after spending half a million dollars for a one per cent swing has actually got something to do with their policies. No matter how much money you spend, no matter what kind of scare campaign you run, perhaps, when people actually looked at the policy to cut funding to non-government schools, people were concerned.


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