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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3848 ..


The policies to cut funding to private health: people were concerned. That might explain why you can spend half a million dollars and move one per cent of the vote. Half a million dollars, Madam Deputy Speaker, but people looked at the policies. And we were told last week during debates that actually they were going to remove this from their website, because it was not their policy. But they kept it on their website and they said they would remove it next week. After the election they would remove it, which is risible. But it is still there.

So, before the election and after the election, this is what the Greens stand for. The Greens want to rip $60 million out of the non-government sector here in the ACT. That is what their policy is. That is what their policy was before the election; that is what their policy remains after the election.

I come back to the point I started with: there is only one party that supports both the government sector and the non-government sector in the ACT. There is only one party that has shown that through its record. We know the record of the Labor Party: federal and local, they are against it. We know the record and the policies of the Greens: they are against it; they want to rip $60 million out. We believe in both sectors. We believe in choice in education, and we do not believe in the retrograde policies of the Labor Party and the Greens, at both a national and a local level. (Time expired.)

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.16): The Liberal opposition are here today to demonstrate that we, the Canberra Liberals, are the only people who stand up for all schools and all children in schools, irrespective of which school they choose to attend or which school their parents choose to send them to. That has been the case for as long as the Liberal Party has existed. The Liberal Party has a proud record of ensuring that there has been appropriate funding for all children, irrespective of where they go to school or where their parents choose to send them to school.

It is instructive to look back over the history. The Labor Party—and Mr Barr—are trying to back away from that history and trying to forget that history. But people need to be reminded that, for years and years, there were sectarian fights in this country, because people like Andrew Barr and Mark Latham do not want to support non-government schools of any sort, of any stripe.

We still have in the Education Act here in the ACT limitations on how non-government schools are set up. There is still a limitation that says that we cannot set up a non-government school if it provides competition to a government school. That is in our legislation and it is a memorial clause put in at the behest of the Australian Education Union, because they do not want competition for government schools. And that is supported, and has been continually supported, by successive Labor ministers in this place.

We know what Andrew Barr is trying to do here today. He has taken up the mantra to some extent, because he wants to cloud the issue. He wants to be able to say to people, “There is nothing to see here.” He has got a fine line in rhetoric. After years of persistence, there is a Labor minister who is prepared to answer the question, “Are you the minister for all school-children?” and he is prepared to say yes.


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