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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 623 ..



Today we heard news of good figures for unemployment in the ACT, but I have to say that it is my view, given my constant contact with the community, that these things are happening despite the actions of the Government, because nowhere in my travels does anybody come up to me and say, "Gee, they are doing a good job. Gee, they are doing a good job in there. We love them. We love them". When you go over here to the shopping centre somebody comes up and says, "When are you going to get rid of that Government?". When you go down to the service station you see people shaking their heads. Go onto a building site and you see people shaking their heads. They say, "When are you going to do something about these people?". I say, "Well, it's not up to me. It is up to others who have responsibilities. If I had my way I would change it tomorrow, but there are others in this place who have supported the Government and it is their responsibility more so than mine".

Mr Osborne: I did not vote for her.

MR BERRY: Well, at the end of the day, the responsibility has to be shared around. Our colleagues from the crossbenches who supported the instalment of this Chief Minister have to share the responsibility, too. It is not much good saying, "It is nothing to do with us", because it really does have something to do with you. That is your choice and you are welcome to it. I guess you have to live with it. There are a few other things which concern me, too. One is the education system.

I would like to foreshadow that I will be moving an amendment to the motion which - - -

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! Mr Berry, we are dealing with Mr Stanhope's amendment at the moment, as I am sure you are aware. I just bring that to your attention.

MR BERRY: You may have missed what I said, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to foreshadow that later on I will be moving an amendment to the motion which goes to the issue of the Government being held responsible for its election commitments. The last matter I want to deal with is education. Education, I think everybody agrees, is the basis for our society. At the last election I think Mr Osborne said that 200 people should go out of central office into the schools. Well, 75 have gone out of central office and guess what? Not one of them went into the schools. Twenty-five teacher classifications have gone and that is all because the Government breached its election promise.

Mr Osborne: What is going to happen to the education budget?

Mr Smyth: The Government has not breached its election promise.

MR BERRY: The Government said that it would maintain its budget in real terms. It did not.

Mr Smyth: It has absolutely maintained it in real terms.

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