Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 1990 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

This is an argument that has been had over and over again when it comes to school closures. This is again ripping an important part of the community out of that suburb. They can sit back there and say, "We made the promise, but ...". The fact is that if you make a promise to keep a school open you therefore commit yourself to the viability of the school. You do not pull the rug out from under the community's feet as these people opposite have done.

Mr Stefaniak says that he attended a meeting. It was not a meeting of the community, and that is what he needed to attend.

Mr Stefaniak: Mr Berry, that was a meeting of the community. They should have been allowed to make their decision without you there.

MR BERRY: Where were you last night?

Mr Stefaniak: As for your stupid comment about being gutless, pal, I faced 500 of your bloody unionists one day, and about 2,000 out there in 1992 in relation to Fightback.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Berry has the floor.

Mr Stefaniak: I resent your comments, Mr Berry.

MR BERRY: You can resent them as much you like.

Mr Stefaniak: I am quite happy to face a hostile meeting, but I think you should let the community do it themselves.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stefaniak, order! Mr Berry has the floor.

MR BERRY: I can see that this has hit a raw nerve, and that nerve ought to be raw because this Minister, unlike his former Liberal Health Minister, did not have the courage to face the community and listen to what they say. We listened. We went out there as elected - - -

Mr Stefaniak: If they had wanted me out there I would have gone; no problem. I still will.

MR BERRY: It must be a great burden on your shoulders to be a disgrace to your profession - to not represent your constituents in Ginninderra. Here you are, an elected member for the electorate of Ginninderra, and you are not game to face your constituents at one of its schools which is facing closure because of your refusal to give it the supplementation that it requires to remain viable.

We sat and listened to young people who stood up and argued for the retention of that school, kids who want that school to stay open because they believe in it. We heard parent after parent argue for the retention of that school and for the retention of supplementation because they want to keep it, and they want to keep it viable; but they cannot do it without the support of the Government. What the Government has to do is

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .