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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1780 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Mr Moore asks what we are afraid of. We are afraid of seeing an ongoing entrenchment of inequity and disadvantage in this society. Freedom of choice is basically about freedom for those who can afford the choice. This government has obviously decided that the people who will enjoy this freedom of choice are the people it wants to look after. I trust that the Assembly will take a wider view of its responsibilities and support this motion, in the interests of all Canberra people.

Mr Moore and Mr Osborne have responded quite well. Mr Moore has made the extraordinary argument that, if we have this sort of public shaming, the government will be forced to act. The government is apparently now claiming that it will listen to community pressure, which is very amusing, especially after the fiasco of the huge expenditure on free school buses.

Mr Moore also said that we have had this form of reporting for years and it has not led to league tables. We have had a different form of reporting. The discussion here is not about not allowing parents to know how their children are working. We had a different form of reporting, which the P&C Council did not oppose, as I understand it, although Mr Stefaniak seemed to think they did oppose it. They did not oppose the form of reporting that was in place then, the 60 per cent average.

Mr Moore was claiming that we had already had this form of reporting and that it had not led to league tables. But, as I understand it, that information was only given to boards and, although not commercial-in-confidence, it was definitely confidential information for the management purposes of that board. So it is not correct for Mr Moore to say that this proposal is-

Mr Stefaniak: There were parents on the board.

MS TUCKER: There were parents on the board? So now Mr Stefaniak is apparently implying that the parents on the board did not take the confidentiality issue seriously. That is fine; Mr Stefaniak can say that.

I know Mr Moore can put a good argument or tell a good yarn at any time and turn around later and laugh and say he did not mean it. But I find it hard to believe that he is seriously asking this place what we are afraid of. (Extension of time granted.) If Mr Moore really does not know what we are afraid of, Mr Moore needs to go back and look again at the whole debate and argument for not producing the kind of public reporting that creates a situation where you will see equity in our society further diminished. I know the Liberals do not care about that, but I thought Mr Moore did.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.48): I will not speak for long on the motion. I think the case against school league tables has been made and made well. The aspect of the debate and the position of the government in relation to this that has concerned me the most is the lack of understanding of members of the government of the real impact the publication of these sorts of tables and this sort of information will have on some schools. I wonder where these members of the government have been over the period of their association with this particular community. I cannot believe that Mr Moore, after the speech that he made, can seriously be suggesting that he has any empathy with or understanding of the potential impact on certain schools in the ACT of the publication of league tables.

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