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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4698 ..


send the message to this government that these cuts are unacceptable, that these cuts are not the way to do it, that we as an Assembly do not believe that this is the way to go. The Liberal Party will stand up and do that. We will continue to do that regardless of how this vote goes, but I would urge members not to support this amendment.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.23): Speaking to the amendment, I noticed there was a sigh when I stood up from the Greens because the Greens are discomfited by this. This amendment is a disgrace. It is a cowardly departing from the field by the people who put themselves about in the communities as the people who stand up for the vulnerable. They say they stand up for the vulnerable. Acid was put on them today and they have departed the field. They are just as big a coward as Mr Barr is. Their behaviour is utterly and completely cowardly. They will not stand up for deaf children, blind children and people who need learning support in ACT schools.

Ms Hunter: Oh, Vicki!

MRS DUNNE: Ms Hunter is sitting there and doing her little interjections. My favourite one, the one that caused me to laugh, was: “What are you going to have us do? Do you want us to stay in deficit for a decade?”

It goes back to Mr Seselja’s narrative. These Greens have tied themselves hip and thigh to this government. They do not hold this government to account. They support them. They prop them up. We are seeing it here today. They are prepared to prop them up to the extent that they will not go after them and say: “This is irresponsible spending in these areas. How about we cut back on roadside art? How about we cut back on the spending on the arboretum?” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

But it is all right for the department of education to go and cut front-line services to people who have a whole range of learning disabilities. They contemplated cutting them to the blind and the deaf. There are a whole lot of people who still have the sword of Damocles hanging over them thanks to the Greens, in cahoots with Andrew Barr, who show that they do not care about vulnerable people, that their rhetoric is nothing more than that. Rhetoric is easy. Rhetoric is cheap.

But really what you should do is judge them by their acts. And the people of the ACT today can see exactly what the Greens are made of. The Greens are tied inexorably to this profligate Labor government, the profligate Labor government who for years and years, when there was money rolling in the door, was spending and spending and spending. We were saying: “You need to be careful. Put some money away for a rainy day.” Here is the rainy day and perhaps we should be having some cuts. “No, we will put that off to another day. Tomorrow is another day.” Tomorrow has come for the deaf children, the blind children and the children who need ESL support.

Andrew Barr is prepared to cut funding. And Meredith Hunter and the rest of the Greens are prepared to support them. That is the message and they are the actions on which the people of the ACT should judge this government and the people who keep them in government in coalition. That is how they should be judged.

Mr Seselja is right. There is not one word in this amendment that should be supported. If Ms Hunter wants to stand up here and seek leave to withdraw her amendment, we


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