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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 893 ..


Given that a member of the opposition mentioned NAPLAN, I continue on the points I make consistently around NAPLAN in its current form. It has too many students forming negative perceptions of themselves and their schools. The whole palaver around NAPLAN, the high stakes nature, is offensive, particularly the anxiety and stress it causes young people in our school communities and the increased workload on our teaching and school communities.

I am enormously proud of every single one of the achievements of our public schools. I acknowledge the hard work of schoolteachers, school staff, parents, carers and students. I cannot wait to welcome new school communities into our new and expanded schools over the next couple of years.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate—Part 1.5

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (5.19): We live in a great city. Through the hard work and sacrifice of our health professionals, doctors, nurses, public servants and all our essential service workers, Canberra is responding to COVID-19 relatively well. And Canberrans deserve a government that is true to its word, a government that delivers on its promises. In what was Mr Barr’s ninth budget, Canberrans gave the Chief Minister yet another opportunity to deliver on the promises he and his Labor-Greens colleagues made during the election.

No other individual has had the same opportunities as the Chief Minister to manage and shape the ACT economy. This budget was an opportunity for the Chief Minister to rectify years of neglect, arrogance and broken promises. This budget could have provided so many long-forgotten and neglected Canberrans with hope for the future. This budget could have provided local businesses with respite from decades of endless rates rises and tax spikes. This budget could have outlined an economic vision for our city that would lay the foundation for the economic prosperity of future generations.

But the Chief Minister has squandered this opportunity. This budget is, sadly, more of the same. It is more of the same broken promises, more of the same higher rates and more of the same declining services. Under this Labor-Greens government, rates and taxes will continue to increase. This budget ensures that Canberrans continue to pay the highest rates and taxes in the country and continue to receive a decline in basic health, education and transport services.

This budget was an opportunity for the Chief Minister to offer hope to so many struggling Canberra families who may have lost an income or had their hours cut back. Many of these families are wondering how they will pay next week’s rent or whether next month’s school excursion is out of reach. Recently I met with a constituent who has been struggling to find a rental property in what is Australia’s most expensive city in which to rent a home. My constituent told me that she had been to over 100 property inspections before even having her rental application considered. With just five per cent of Canberra properties considered affordable and with the highest rental


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