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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1053 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

which will mean an increase in their capacity to be flexible with respect to funding priorities.

What utter nonsense! That is not true. The Government has also totally resiled from its responsibility to provide proper equipment in every Canberra school - every one of them, not just the ones their own kids go to, or they went to themselves, in Mr Stefaniak's case. On the provision of equipment in schools the Government has said:

ACT schools operate in a devolved environment -

they do not -

making their own resource allocation decisions.

No, they do not. It continues:

It would be undesirable to prescribe what are to be essential resources.

What utter rubbish! Mr Speaker, what the Government has done here is deny an opportunity to increase equity in our schools. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. They have put all of the onus on the schools themselves without providing them with a single additional cent to achieve that equity. As I say, Mr Speaker, it is a contempt of the committee process of this Assembly. It is contempt for our education system. We have heard all of the rhetoric about protecting our education system and all of the rhetoric about caring, about keeping our schools informed and about keeping them involved in the budget debate; yet this response by the Minister is a total denial of that rhetoric. It is a disgrace.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report on Draft Capital Works Program

Debate resumed from 26 March 1996, on motion by Mr Moore:

That the report be noted.

MR HIRD (11.34): Mr Speaker, I note that the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment has taken an extensive overview of the Government's 1996-97 draft capital works program. I commend the committee's recommendations on design proposals and forward planning. The committee has recommended that the Government take steps to ensure that sufficient design proposals are on hand to enable a start on all possible projects as soon as the capital works budget paper is passed by this parliament. Too often, the community has lost faith in past governments because of delays in carrying out works approved in the capital works program. If provision has been made in the budget to finance capital works, then the work should be proceeded with as soon as possible. In particular, there should not be long delays in carrying out works that have been given a high priority in the program.

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