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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1073 ..

MRS CARNELL: I think everybody has made the point about the budget in this situation, but the very important part to restress was a comment that Ms McRae made that she did not expect the budget to be increased and that this was all just about reshuffling inside the current education budget. I think what Ms McRae is actually suggesting is that we take money away from schools which have done well with parent contributions and give it to schools which have done badly, because that is the only option if you stay within - - -

Ms McRae: No; I asked you to do the homework.

MRS CARNELL: Ms McRae made it quite clear in her speech - this is very relevant now - that she was not talking about more money. If she is not talking about more money, if this Assembly is not talking about more money - and, as they passed the budget and so on, I assume that they are not - then the only thing - - -

Mr Berry: Cut it out. We did not vote for the mess you put in the budget. What a joke!

MRS CARNELL: The Assembly passed the budget. It is as simple as that. The Assembly passed the budget, and Ms McRae made it quite clear that she was not talking about more money. What she is talking about is taking money away from schools which do well in this area and giving it to schools which do not do as well.

It is important that the community understand exactly what this Assembly is doing by this motion, which, I think, is contrary to the view that all school communities believe in and the approach that has been taken by this Assembly. It will be very interesting when a few school communities, which have gone out of their way to raise money and done well with voluntary contributions, other fundraising activities, fetes and all the other things that they do to supplement their budget, know that, if this Assembly had its way, they would lose a percentage of that to schools that do not bother.

MR WOOD (12.40): Mr Speaker - - -

MR SPEAKER: Do you seek leave to speak again?

MR WOOD: Yes, Mr Speaker. Mrs Carnell invited me to apologise.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: Maybe Mrs Carnell should apologise, not to me but to the teachers and the schools. She might explain why it is that schools had to make reductions in what they were teaching after her budget.

MR MOORE (12.41), in reply: Mr Speaker, in replying to this debate I wish to speak very briefly. We have heard Mrs Carnell put exactly the same arguments on a number of occasions before. The Assembly as a whole rejects them. Mr Wood uses the example, quite rightly: Why then are we losing teachers? Why do we not have enough money to do what we did before if you genuinely, in real terms, increased the education budget?

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