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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1094 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I assume he was talking about the public education system as much as he was about other schooling - had every opportunity to be information wise. Not only do teachers need to have computers available to them but there is also a need for increased IT literacy amongst our students, the point that the Minister was making.

Of course, the Deputy Chief Minister would point to the Government's election promises in that regard. To some extent they have boasted that promises in relation to the provision of computers were met, but they were met at the cost of central office jobs. Hence the difficulty I have with the analysis that he made is that in meeting one part of his vision for education in the ACT this Government cut a great swath of jobs out of the central office. In developing the public education system, we should be sending the community a signal that we will defend the system against those sorts of onslaughts or depredations or that we will not weaken it and reduce the role it plays. The fundamental problem we have with the way that this Government has from time to time dealt with education issues is that there is no signal that it will put the interests of the public education system and the children that depend on that system ahead of other interests. There is very much more I would like to say.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! The time for discussion has now expired.


Debate resumed.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.25): Thank you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker.

Mr Moore: This is the road that goes past Kaleen.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, that is it. I think it was you, Mr Moore, who indicated that the one thing we needed in this debate was for it to be non-political. Your opening barb then, Minister, was consistent with many of your other contributions.

I wish to speak only briefly to the matter, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to respond to some of the more outrageous of the claims made by Mr Smyth and Mr Humphries in the debate this morning about the need or the non-need for a further inquiry or investigation into the John Dedman Parkway, now known as the Gungahlin Drive extension. I hope we can reverse, too, the decision basically to consign John Dedman to the dustbin of history. I hope the decision to remove John Dedman from the maps in terms of any future proposal is not an irreversible decision. So we are talking about the John Dedman Parkway or the Gungahlin Drive extension as it is now more euphemistically known.

I wish to respond directly to the points or the assertions that Mr Smyth and Mr Humphries were making - that we do not need this inquiry and there is nothing to be gained by it; that the issue has been rigorously, vigorously and happily inquired into in the past; and that the terms of Ms Tucker's motion or Mr Corbell's amendment to that to

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