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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1793 ..

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. We want to implement this because it is a promise that we have made. We want to implement this because we see the benefit of this to people who choose the sort of education for their children that they want. We wish to do this because the community has told us that they want it. We have got 16,000 applications that say that the community thinks this is an important initiative.

We have done the work. ACTION has worked very hard. Education has worked very hard to get out and distribute the information to the community. The community has returned that information in droves. I tell you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, that we have got the word back from the community that they are right on side. We expect more to come. The next round of applications is being collected by ACTION, and we expect to get even more from it.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is no point to a comparative analysis of transport versus education. They are different subjects. We all understand the need to put more money into education. That is why we have. Contrary to the assertions of those opposite that we have not kept our promise, the minister has a report that says, yes, we have kept our promise and we have increased education spending every year in the term of this government. That is why we have put in another $91 million this year. That is why we are putting money back into the pockets of ordinary families so that they can spend it on things like educational requirements, books, uniforms, whatever it is that they choose to spend it on. On 3 September we will introduce this new initiative, and that is why we will oppose this motion.

MR HARGREAVES (6.33): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support Ms Tucker on this motion, but predominantly to respond to some of the comments made by the minister. Sometimes I get blown away by the minister-

Mr Berry: If you respond to him, though, you just encourage him to give you more of that bullshit.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Berry, Mr Hargreaves is on your side.

MR HARGREAVES: Yes, I know. Sometimes I am absolutely staggered by this minister's lack of understanding. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, this minister starts throwing numbers around like confetti. He talks about 16,000 applications. This government is putting a carrot out there. Those people are not going to say, "Oh, er, even if it comes in, what do I do? What do I do? It is something for free." Of course you are going to get some applications. To start using that as a justification for your own ends is a tad ingenuous though.

On top of that, the minister talks about 16,000 out of 60,000. That is 25 per cent. What about the other 75 per cent? I will tell you where the other 75 per cent are, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. They are inside the 1.6 and 1.9 zones. That is where they are. They are not going to get anything out of this. Not one razoo are they going to get out of this. The people who are going to get the $400 worth of benefit are the people who have to travel beyond the 2k zone for high school students and above 1.6 for primary students.

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