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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1931 ..

Mr Moore: I said I always guaranteed the budget.

MS TUCKER: Mr Moore says he always guaranteed the budget. That is correct, but I am talking about what happens before the budget. I am talking about how people use their position in this place to influence a minority government. I can remember that when I first came to this place Mrs Carnell told me that the Greens were irrelevant because at that time she had the support of Mr Moore and Mr Osborne. I found that pretty interesting for a government that I supported at that time, mistakenly, because I believed they were going to be open and consultative with all members of this place. However, what we are seeing in this Assembly is that this Government does not even have to consult with the crossbench they depend on, because they have a carte blanche. I think it is very alarming for the ACT, because that is why the ACT has Hare-Clark and supported it, and that is why we keep getting minority governments and that is why now we are seeing this Government totally ignoring motions from the floor of this place that are supported by the majority. Last night is an example. Within five minutes of the conclusion of the debate, Mrs Carnell went to the media and said, "I do not mind. I am not doing it. It does not matter that nine people have just said that I have to reassess what I am doing with Floriade. I am not doing it". She can do that. She is not going to be challenged. I just want to put that on the record. I think it is of grave concern.

I hope that Mr Rugendyke learns to understand the responsibility of his position and insists that this Government consult much more with at least him and Mr Osborne. I would not expect the Chief Minister to consult with Mr Kaine or me or Labor. That would be expecting too much, but I think the responsibility is heavy on the shoulders of these two men. They are not living up to their responsibility, and the whole ACT is going to suffer as a result of that.

Now I will address some of the issues of education. I absolutely agree that an extra strain and an extra burden have been put on the Department of Education. Whether or not the $1.9m is counted twice, as Mr Moore claims it has been, is not the issue. I know that election promises were definitely made that gave the impression that the money for literacy and IT was going to be new money, and that is not the case. Already, before those promises were made, there were strains in the education system.

The issue of the jobs going out of central office is serious. I notice another inconsistency from government. When it suits them, they want to promote their particular initiatives. It was literacy this time. They produced a glossy document. In that glossy document it said, "We are going to have a literacy team in central office. We need a literacy team because that is going to support and coordinate what happens across schools in this area". The question one has to ask immediately, is why it is necessary only in literacy. Why is it not necessary in all the other key curriculum areas that traditionally people have valued in education? It is not consistent at all.

I am also very concerned about cuts to the Institute of the Arts and the implications that will have for education, for music education and art education in particular. It is in our school system as well as in the general community that that cut will be felt.

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