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None . . Page.. 993 ..

MR MOORE (11.59): Mr Speaker, while I support this amendment, I must admit that I found it a little amusing that “place” includes a ship. I do not know that we are going to have too many problems with ships in the ACT, although on Lake Burley Griffin there is a boat. Is that actually a ship? That is a good question. Apart from those mirthful comments, I think it is a very good amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.01 to 2.30 pm


Education and Health Budgets

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I have a question for Mrs Carnell as the Chief Minister. It relates to her statement in the Assembly yesterday about the revised Administrative Arrangements. In her statement, Mrs Carnell said:

This will enhance our chances of containing our most difficult task - bringing the budgets of education and health into line with national benchmarks.

However, Mr Speaker, in her election commitments, Mrs Carnell made this statement:

A Liberal Government will guarantee to maintain current levels of ACT education funding indexed for inflation over the next three years.

It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that there is a blatant contradiction in the two approaches to education funding. Therefore, I ask Mrs Carnell: Does your statement yesterday mean that this is about to become yet another broken election commitment from the Liberal Party, to add to those that have already been admitted by your Ministers?

MRS CARNELL: The undertaking and commitment to maintain education funding at last year's budget level plus inflation - in other words, in real terms - stands and will stand for the next three years. The comment that was made in my statement yesterday is a very real one, because benchmarks are not about just bottom line financial statements; they are about class sizes and quality of education - all those sorts of things that matter a lot to this side of the house. What we must not allow to happen is for the funding problems we have - largely generated by the Federal Government in its cuts to ACT revenue - to actually start affecting the quality of education in the ACT, as I think they are affecting things like class sizes.

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