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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4686 ..


what other students in his class are doing, but also to learn specialised skills like braille and touch typing which will assist him for the rest of his life.

A computer cannot teach my son how to read braille. A consultant, who doesn’t know my son or has no idea about my son’s level of vision and additional disabilities will ever be able to advise a classroom teacher the best way to help him to learn, or explain how he learns best. Each child is unique.

Please also ponder this recent true statistic. More than 70 per cent of people, who are blind or who have low vision want work, but cannot find employment.

Please, Mr Barr. I do not want my son to become a statistic and you have the power to make sure that does not happen.

Please retain all four of our ACT specialist Vision Teachers. Reducing the existing number of Vision Teachers will directly impact our children.

This is the values test that this government has failed. These are the people we will fight for. We will not allow them to bear the brunt of this government’s poor decision making over the last few years.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.42): This is another sorry episode. We see Andrew Barr and his department presiding over another assault on the most disadvantaged people in our community. We have seen it before, and Mr Seselja touched on it. We need to remember what has gone before.

First of all, we had a proposal for the review of disability services only in government schools. Who was the person who led the charge to advocate for a change in this? There was eventually a change because of the work led by my colleague Mr Doszpot. Then there were the proposed cuts to the Shepherd Centre, an important organisation that provides assistance to hearing impaired children in our territory. The stay of execution on the Shepherd Centre funding was brought about because of a campaign led by my colleague Mr Doszpot.

Here we have yet another sorry example of heartlessness and lack of values. I applaud the comments made by my colleague Mr Seselja about the values test that has been failed here—the lack of care and lack of consideration for the most vulnerable people in the ACT education system. They are amongst the most vulnerable people. Who led the charge that resulted in the backflip? Our colleague Mr Doszpot.

Mr Barr must hate to get up in the morning and find that once again he has been bested by Mr Doszpot. He might like to consider his rhetoric in relation to this most effective member—this member who shows more heart, more courage and more commitment to the people that we are elected to represent than this minister has in his whole being. He has no heart, no sympathy and no courage to stand up for the people that he is paid to look after most, the vulnerable people in this community.

It was really interesting over the last few weeks to see what could be called a paradigm shift in the narrative in ACT politics. The standard left-right debate has always been that the Libs are on the right, and they are nasty economic rationalists


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