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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 851 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Mr Stefaniak will probably reannounce to people here, in case they did not hear it, whether or not we did see a major cut to preschool education. Although it is his portfolio, it is my recollection that, in fact, there was no cut to preschool education. Of course, that was a major concern. For that, Minister, I offer my congratulations on an excellent decision. It makes me proud to be part of a team that is there to protect preschool education. That is the important thing. Now, let us get back to the inefficiency of that side of the house.

MR SPEAKER: Please do.

Mr Corbell: What a true-blue Independent you have over there!

MR MOORE: I am not Independent on the budget, and you know that, Mr Corbell. We already have an inquiry into preschool education. It is being done by a committee of the Assembly. Then we get another committee of the Assembly that says, "This looks like an interesting issue. Maybe we ought to do a report on it as well". Are they doing it as well, or did they just not know that it was happening? I am inclined to think that they just did not know that it was happening, because either they had not read the report or they did not realise that for some reason the report went to the Chief Minister's Portfolio Committee instead of to the logical spot for it to go to. The logical spot for it to go to is the Education Committee. That would have resolved the problem in the first place, because it would have been in what, to me, is the logical spot.

I cannot understand why this report went in that direction. Was it because people think they are still in the past? Do they think that it is still the public accounts committee and that every Auditor-General's report should go to the public accounts committee? I say to you that that is the sort of change we should have seen, because that is the sort of confusion that this has generated and these are the sorts of problems we are creating. I am sure that Mr Quinlan would do an excellent inquiry into this report if it were his responsibility. I have no doubt about that. But I also know that Mr Quinlan is one of those people who would see no point in doubling up on the same issue. That is what it is.

Mr Berry then comes up with this motion, which calls on the Assembly to accept unequivocally that the Territory's preschool system is a fundamental part of the ACT education system. I have no problem with that. It is an excellent point. It is terrific.

Mr Corbell: You had better tell Bill Stefaniak that. He does not think they are part of the education system.

MR MOORE: He can answer that question for himself. I am saying that that is how I see it. The motion also calls on the Assembly to endorse the Standing Committee on Education's decision to conduct an inquiry into the future provision of preschool education. Why did we not endorse the inquiry into preschool education by the public accounts committee, or why did the mover of the motion instead not have a chat to Mr Quinlan and say, "We are going to move this motion. We are going to give it to the Education Committee. Why do we not pass on the Auditor-General's report so that we do not have a doubling up."? Maybe the committee is already well under way in looking at this Auditor-General's report. I would have thought that it would be. In that case,

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