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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 864 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, we are the only government that has delivered consistency in support for education. We have done that over the three years that this Government has been in office. During that period there has been maintenance of funding for education in real terms. Indeed, even today that is the prospect for preschool education, but we need to consider how best we can deal with the use of resources in the preschool sector to ensure that those dollars that are being spent are being used in the best possible way and in the best possible place.

The Labor Government closed preschools when it needed to, because it wanted to make sure that resources were going into the right areas. Mr Speaker, we need to consider that question as well. We need to make sure that we are putting resources into the right places. If preschool enrolments are very small, there is a case for considering how best they should continue to operate, Mr Speaker.

Mr Berry: Mention the motion. Mr Speaker, can you get him to mention the motion? He is still not sticking to the motion.

MR SPEAKER: He is relevant.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is exactly what the motion is talking about. The motion talks about the structure of preschools in the ACT. It is what the motion is all about. Mr Speaker, if Mr Berry wants to rise in this place and reek with hypocrisy about how deeply the ALP feels about education, and about preschool education in particular, then let him do so; but let not the rest of us think that Mr Berry - - -

Mr Berry: Wayne Berry; not Paul Whalan. He has whiskers on him now.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have had constant interjections from Mr Berry during these remarks and I ask for - - -

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I must uphold the complaint. You have spoken, Mr Berry. If you wish to seek leave to speak again, it is up to the Assembly whether they will allow you to.

Mr Berry: I will be speaking again later.

MR SPEAKER: In the meantime, please remain quiet.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I can only commend to the house the comments made not by someone on my side of the chamber but by a person who is apparently working at the moment as a consultant to the ACT Labor Party on economic matters. The remarks were reported in the Canberra Times of last Saturday. I quote these comments by the associate director of the Australian Centre for Regional and Local Government Studies at the University of Canberra, David Hughes.

Ms Carnell: The economic adviser to Mr Quinlan.

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